Welcome to Wonkhe 2.0

Four years ago we introduced Wonkhe to the higher education sector. We’ve grown steadily since, but today marks our first major leap forward. You’re reading this on the first version of our new platform that kicks off a period of substantial growth of this site and everything that our organisation does. Wonkhe's Director Mark Leach introduces the new site, brand and trails some of the developments that are on the horizon.
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Four years ago we introduced Wonkhe to the higher education sector. We’ve grown steadily, but today marks our first major leap forward. You’re reading this on the first version of our new platform that kicks off a period of substantial growth of this site and everything that our organisation does.

The technology may have changed, but our mission remains the same – that is to improve policymaking in higher education and provide a platform for the new or previously unheard voices and perspectives in the sector. We now have the firepower to deliver this thanks to our new technical platform and the network of supporters that have pulled together to help us realise our vision.

To all those that have helped us get this far – thank you.

There are more exciting developments coming in the weeks and months ahead than I can possibly write about today, so let’s just focus on this week:

Our new brand

You may notice that from today we have a new logo and design language across this site and all of our output. Fond as we were of the old header, after four years it was time for a refresh – we needed something more flexible and usable across the diverse range of activity that we are now involved with – online and off. We kept the mortarboard and redesigned it a little bit and our colour scheme hasn’t changed much – hopefully it provides us with a solid link to the past, as well as show where we might be going in the future.

Our new website

The new site represents technical improvements in every way – for instance the site is now fully responsive catering for the many of you that choose to read it on smartphones and tablets. However, the heart of our site remains the articles largely written by members of community – the wonks. We’ve structured these in to nine key blogs all serving a different purpose.

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Analysis: Analysis of policy, news, speeches and the latest developments in and around higher education. We’ve carried much important and timely analysis over the years – on which the feedback has been great. You’ll find plenty more here in the future.

Comment: Ideas, opinions and views from a wide range of voices and perspectives. The diversity of voices on Wonkhe is what makes us strong and we will be carrying more comment from an even greater range of perspectives.

Data: From big data to little data: trends, uses (and abuses) in higher education, government and policymaking. The sector has been waiting for a data blog for some time, and we have some incredible things planned as the sector adapts to the changing data landscape and as data further powers our understanding of the sector.

People: Life, work, study and the professions in higher education. From issues of leadership and management, to diversity in the sector – everything to do with the amazing people that drive higher education.

Policy Watch: The latest policy developments in higher education, government, agencies, mission groups and beyond. We’ll be keeping this up to date with news of the latest reports, consultations, legislation and anything we think the sector needs to know.

Registrarism: Registrarial comment and observations from Paul Greatrix, Registrar at the University of Nottingham. Needs no further introduction – welcome home, Paul.

Stacks: Peruse the Stacks for little thoughts, running debates and higher education’s oddities. At the Stacks you’ll find everything and anything else – dip in and out at your leisure.

The mystery 9th: a blog that we’re very excited about is coming soon – but shall remain a secret for now…

Wonkhe is a community – and an incredible one at that. We are so fortunate to be populated by such interesting and talented people – and with higher education mattering more and more to the world around us, bringing that community together has become increasingly central to our mission. We’re made up of diverse voices, whether you accept the label of ‘wonk’ or not, it doesn’t matter. If you work in higher education, or care about the sector and the people that work in it in any way, then you can make a home at Wonkhe. If you’re still unsure about the wonk label – have a look at this piece I wrote attempting to answer the question: ‘what is a wonk?’ It’s a big tent, but one we’re proud to help hold up.

We’re led by the community and so depend on your ideas, analysis, input and advice. If you have something to say, pitch us an article. If you disagree with something you’ve read, let us know.

There is still more work to do to this site and it will only be improving over the coming days as we tighten things up further and add new features. Feedback about how we can improve it is always welcome, so get touch.

I hope you stay with us as we begin a new chapter.

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