PODCAST: Sexual misconduct, quality, belonging, drugs

This week on the podcast the Office for Students has new conditions on quality and standards - but what does it all mean?

News and analysis of higher education from our leading team of wonks.

This week on the podcast the Office for Students has new conditions on quality and standards – but what does it all mean?

Universities UK has published new guidance on staff-to-student sexual misconduct – does it go far enough? There’s also a look at our research with Pearson on belonging, and a new HEPI report on drugs.

With Michelle Morgan, Dean of Students at the University of East London, Andrew Hargreaves, co-founder of DataHE, Sunday Blake, Associate Editor at Wonkhe and presented by Jim Dickinson, Wonkhe’s Associate Editor.

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Correlate

There’s a bit of an elgaic tone this week as we wave farewell to the HESA UK performance indicator and look back to a world where we expected academic staff to be able to demonstrate their competence at teaching. I’ve plotted the proportion of academic staff with teaching responsibilities in 2020-21 who hold a teaching qualification against the proportion of undergraduate students from that year from a low participation (POLAR4 quintile 1) background.

There’s a pervasive meme that students that are (geographically) less likely to attend HE require more active approaches to teaching, whereas traditional students can just be left to figure stuff out. I’ve never been sure myself – but does the data say that non-traditional students will see better-qualified teaching staff? Does it correlate?

The answer is no – r-squared is just over 0.1 – but looking at the graph it is possible that some of this is a function of the low quality of teacher qualification data. It certainly has a shape that suggests the possibility of a relationship – a part of this may be a function of more traditional students attending more traditional provider. The data is from the 2020-21 academic year (the last ever year for the UKPI!) and where the data doesn’t exist I’ve not plotted it.

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