This week on the podcast the panel evaluates proposals on quality, standards and so-called “Mickey Mouse” courses.
We also think through the great “reset” at No.10 and potential implications for higher education, international recruitment, and protections for students in the event of course, campus or whole provider closure.
With Selena Bolingbroke, Consulting Fellow at the Halpin Partnership, Paul Inman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Reading, Jonathan Simons, Director at Public First and Mark Leach, Editor in Chief at Wonkhe.
Items this week
- As a review of complaints over a higher education provider’s collapse is published, Jim Dickinson wonders if the protection we give students matches the risks they take.
- What is a poor quality or low value higher education course? The Office for Students has an answer, so Jim Dickinson and David Kernohan take it for a spin.
- Nick Holland, Competition and Registration Manager at the Office for Students introduces new proposals on poor quality courses.
- Julia Buckingham fleshes out the UUK launch of measures to help providers tackle low value courses.
There’s always an underlying theme in “mickey mouse course” type stories that the growth in student numbers over recent years has been focused on subject areas with low entry requirements. So I’ve plotted the growth over two years in each top level subject area against the percentage of entrants with three As or above at A level (or equivalent). So is it less demanding subject areas that are seeing the bulk of recent growth – does it correlate?
The answer is no, not in a statistically significant way (R squared is about 0.2 where P is less than 0.05). But the trend that does exist is positive… subject areas with larger proportions of well qualified entrants actually appear to be growing faster. Data is from the most recent available HESA data, and where the data doesn’t exist I’ve not plotted it.
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