PODCAST: Future, REF, boomerangs, student support

This week on the podcast we discuss the phenomenon of the "boomerang" generation, confidence in democracy, reforms to the REF and some good news on funding for students impacted by the pandemic.

This week on the podcast we discuss demand for higher education and new reports on the future of the sector.

We also consider the phenomenon of the “boomerang” generation, confidence in democracy, reforms to the REF and some good news on funding for students impacted by the pandemic.

With Paul Ashwin, Professor of Higher Education at Lancaster University and Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Higher Education; and Marian Hilditch, Deputy Academic Registrar at the University of Bradford and chair of SROC.

Items this week

Correlate

I’m thinking about international students this week, and the question is simple – are providers with more full time undergraduate international students also those that make most money from full time undergraduate international fees. Do more students always mean more money in the most price-sensitive area of the UK higher education marketplace? does it correlate?

Yes, it does. R squared is 0.91 – a very strong correlation. Despite the variation in international undergraduate fee levels, the relationship is clear – volume is most important. I’ve also worked out the average fee income per student for each provider – the highest is… Heriot Watt University, at just over £52k. The UNiversity of the West of Scotland sits at the other end, apparently making just £2,600 per full time undergraduate international student. Data is from the HESA Student and Finance releases for 2018-19, and where the data doesn’t exist I’ve not plotted it.

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