56 results
Date Name

Apocalypse now?

Are universities doomed? With the apocalyptic tone to many recent pieces on higher education you could be given for thinking universities are facing imminent disaster.

The 2014 Grant letter: another epistolary triumph

And the wait was finally over The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has written to HEFCE with the Department’s annual message on funding and helpful bag of instructions. As excitement in the sector reached near fever pitch, the contents were being live-tweeted by @TimesHigherEd while everyone else waited to get hold of… read more

Show and Tell: The Office of Fair Trading is Looking at Universities (again)

And they are looking for a lot of information. Back in October 2013 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a call for information on the undergraduate part of the higher education sector in England. This follows the earlier look (outcome awaited) at terms and conditions in relation to student debts and universities’ practices in… read more

Higher education funding letters: another bundle of joy

On government HE funding letters The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has written to HEFCE with the Department’s annual message on funding and helpful bag of instructions. The letter sets out Government funding and priorities for HEFCE and for higher education for the second year of the new financial arrangements for higher… read more

Agent power and international student recruitment

Are agents too powerful? A recent Times Higher Education story on the use of agents by UK universities in international student recruitment noted: UK universities recruited more than 50,000 international students through commission payments to overseas agents last year, spending close to £60 million on the practice in 2010-11. Using data obtained under the Freedom… read more

Is this the future for UK university sport?

Some US universities spend a LOT on sport A recent Bloomberg report on US universities expenditure on sport highlights the huge amounts spent by Rutgers, which tops the list of spending: Like most of Rutgers University’s almost 30,000 undergraduates, Matt Cordeiro has never put on shoulder pads and played football on a Saturday before a… read more

The Imperfect University: More and more regulation

More Regulatory Woes A recent speech by the Universities Minister focused on his apparent desire to reduce regulation for institutions: “We are in a government that understands the value of autonomy,” Mr Willetts said. Mr Willetts talked about the possibility of reducing data collection requirements as well as the likelihood of universities escaping some EU… read more

Firsts and fees, plagiarism and pay hikes (and the rest)

No dumbing down here – is this the most comprehensive HE piece ever? Daily Mail online has a terrific piece which manages to conflate a host of different higher education issues within a single kick ass column. On the back of recent HESA data which shows an increase in the number of students achieving first… read more

Freshers’ week: just a drunken scam?

An interesting view on freshers’ week Libby Purves, writing in The Times, argues that freshers’ week is not quite what it seems and has to stop. The new fees regime, she suggests, may put an end to this “ghastly scam”. These festivals are now in progress or revving up at most British universities; a weird,… read more

“For-Profits Eye the British Market”

New opportunities for private providers The Chronicle of Higher Education has a good piece on the interest for-profit providers are taking in the UK market. Robert Lytle of the Parthenon Group, management consultants with an interest in education, seems a bit sceptical: “It’s a very expensive market to operate in, and the profitability is not… read more

Following the money: paying out for AAB

“Universities cut fees for top students” According to The Sunday Times that is. However, the headline doesn quite match the story which is a bit more complicated than that. The BBC presents it a little differently as “Universities to offer A grade students cash”. All of this seems to be sparked by comments from Steve… read more

British students flocking to the US Ivy League. Or not?

An untrained brain drain? In a recent post I commented on the press reports on the modest flow of English students to universities in continental Europe and the reverse flow of other EU students to the UK. The media seems extremely keen to report any international movement by students from the UK as evidence of… read more

White Paper inspiration from the US?

A somewhat different approach to cost savings in the new fees regime Not sure if this was a source of inspiration for the White Paper. It looks like something of a blue print for efficient management at the bargain basement end of the new private providers (but perhaps not for the New College of the… read more

Swings and roundabouts?

UK students rush to Maastricht. European students run to the UK So what is the story here? Is UK (or English) higher education in the post-Browne era so terrible that a mass exodus to the Netherlands is underway? The Independent reports that a Dutch university has seen a ‘tenfold’ rise in applicants: The number of… read more

Regulation, Regulation, Regulation

More Regulatory Woes In University Governance: Questions for a New Era, Professor Malcolm Gillies looks at a whole set of issues around university governance. A previous post noted his suggestion about a greater involvement of alumni but he suggests that they will become more important than the state, at least in governance terms, because of… read more

World Education: The New Powerhouse – Going Global 2011 §1

Some comments on Going Global 2011 – World Education: The New Powerhouse? I was fortunate to be present at the British Council’s Going Global Conference in Hong Kong earlier in March. There were about 1,000 delegates there and as might be expected for this kind of event many of the presentations were high level and… read more

New Guardian Higher Education Network

New online Guardian HE offering The Guardian has just launched its new Guardian HE Network, which looks rather nice: it’s an online space where higher education professionals can talk to one other, get advice and insight from peers and industry experts and grapple with the challenges that face the whole sector. With so many changes… read more

Tuition fees: Minister warns universities

More than just sabre-rattling? The BBC reports on a warning from the Universities Minister concerning fee setting plans. Speaking at the Dearing Conference at the University of Nottingham on 17 February he warned that, because the government had assumed that the average fee would be £7,500, if most universities charged higher than this the additional… read more

Oxbridge Access: Private school v Free School Meals

New Sutton Trust report on access has some rather staggering data The Sutton Trust report suggests that private school students are 55 times more likely to win a place at Oxbridge and 22 times more likely to go to a top-ranked university than students at state schools who qualify for Free School Meals (FSM). The… read more

Morrisons to pay students’ tuition fees

The shape of things to come? A story from the Guardian from back in October noted that the supermarket chain said it will pay for students’ university fees if they enrol on a degree course it is sponsoring. Morrisons is to fund 20 undergraduates a year on a three-year degree course in business and management…. read more

Proposals for reform of student immigration

Not very welcoming Following the fun and games with the Tier 1 and 2 changes which may yet serve to keep the best academics out of the UK, the government has now turned its attention to Tier 4, students. According to the UK Border Agency , which is launching a brief consultation on proposed changes:… read more

Providing information that helps students with HE choices

New consultation on providing information that helps students make the right higher education choices HEFCE has launched a consultation on information for prospective students: Schools, colleges, universities, student unions and a wide range of other bodies are being asked to comment on the information that higher education (HE) providers publish to help prospective students choose… read more

Browne report: the end of the QAA (and OFFA and OIA)

Beyond changes to higher education funding Naturally, all of the attention today will be on the funding elements of the Browne report. However, one significant change which is unlikely to attract much comment will nevertheless carry major implications for universities. It is proposed to merge four agencies into one: The higher education system is currently… read more

Higher education funding letters: 14 years of joy

On government HE funding letters (Arguably the dullest post ever to appear on this blog. And that’s saying something. I’ve been wanting to do this for ages but apologies in advance for any distress caused.) The most recent funding letter of June 24 2010 from Vince Cable and David Willetts to the Chairman of HEFCE… read more