A one-day event to assess the impact of the Augar review on higher education and the wider post-18 education landscape featuring an interview with Philip Augar.

The day will give you a chance to hear from Team Wonkhe’s experts as well as leading voices from around further and higher education – both to understand the report’s implications and consider the response.

We will demystifying and digesting all the numbers, such as the reduction in the fee cap, the repayment threshold, and assess their impact. We will digest the impact on the whole post-compulsory education system, lifelong learning, further and higher education and how they relate.

And all of this in the context of a Conservative party leadership race, an impending spending review and a demographic upswing on the horizon. Where will it take us next? We hope the conference will be part of the building blocks of the response.


09.00 Registration

09.30 Where did it come from and what does it say? Team Wonkhe recaps and digests the Augar review.

10.00 How much does it all cost?
Gavan Conlon & Maike Halterbeck, London Economics
David Malcolm, Head of Policy and Campaigns, NUS
Lorraine Dearden, Professor of Economics, UCL Institute of Education and Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE)

11.15 Break

11.30 Philip Augar in conversation with Wonkhe’s editor in chief Mark Leach

12.15 Building an HE sector-wide response to the Augar review
Debbie McVitty, Editor, Wonkhe (Chair)
Mary Curnock Cook, HE Specialist
Andy Westwood, Vice Dean for Social Responsibility in the Faculty of Humanities and Professor of Government Practice, University of Manchester.
Nicholas Barr, Professor of public economics, London School of Economics

13.00 Lunch

13.45 TRACing the cost of delivering higher education
Andrew Bush, Director of Higher Education Internal Audit and Advisory lead, KPMG

14:30  Lifelong learning, FE and skills with your host Rachael Firth
The Augar review’s implications for post-compulsory education are broad. Spreading out far beyond the boundaries of higher education fees and funding, Rachael will guide us through the whole landscape with leaders, academics and experts from across post-18 education. Each will give their take in seven minutes, questions to the whole group will follow at the end.

Tim Blackman, Vice Chancellor, Middlesex University and incoming Vice Chancellor of the Open University.
Claire Callender, Centre for Global Higher Education.
Jonathan Michie, President, Kellogg College, Oxford.
Jane Baker, Director, Higher Education Qualifications, Pearson
David Hughes, CEO, Association of Colleges

15:45 The future for Augar is political
Mark Leach (Chair)
Rachel Wolf, Partner, Public First
Nick Hillman, Director, Hepi

16.30 Drinks reception

Read all of Wonkhe’s analysis on Augar in one place here.


  • Philip Augar

    Chair, Post-18 review of education and funding

    Philip Augar, Chair, Post-18 review of education and funding

  • Rachel Wolf

    Founding Partner, Public First

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  • Gavan Conlon

    London Economics

    Gavan Conlon, Partner, London Economics

  • Maike Halterbeck

    London Economics

    Maike Halterbeck, Associate Director, London Economics

  • Jonathan Michie

    Kellogg College

    Jonathan Mitchie, President, Research Centre Director Professor of Innovation & Knowledge Exchange, Kellogg College

  • Debbie McVitty

    Editor, Wonkhe

    Debbie McVitty, Editor, Wonkhe

  • Nick Hillman

    Director, HEPI

    Director, Higher Education Policy Institute

  • David Malcolm

    National Union of Students

    Head of Policy, National Union of Students UK

  • Mary Curnock Cook

    Chair, UPP Foundation Student Futures Commission

    Mary Curnock Cook CBE is an independent education expert serving in a non-executive capacity on a number of Boards. From 2010-2017, Mary was Chief Executive of UCAS. Earlier in her career she held executive and non-executive positions in the education, hospitality, food and biotech sectors. Mary Chairs the governing body of the Dyson Institute, and … Continued

  • Andy Westwood

    Professor of Government Practice, University of Manchester and skills expert

    Andy Westwood, Vice Dean for Social Responsibility in the Faculty of Humanities and Professor of Government Practice, University of Manchester 

  • Nicholas Barr

    The London School of Economics and Political Science

    Nicholas Barr, Professor of Public Economics, The London School of Economics and Political Science

  • Mark Leach

    Editor in Chief, Wonkhe

    Mark Leach is the founder, Editor in Chief and CEO of Wonkhe. Mark worked in policy, politics and public affairs in and around UK higher education and founded Wonkhe in 2011 while working as a jobbing policy wonk in the sector. The first part of his career took him to the National Union of Students, … Continued

  • Claire Callender

    Professor of higher education, Birkbeck and UCL Institute of Education

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  • Tim Blackman

    Vice chancellor, Open University

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  • Andrew Bush

    Director of Higher Education Internal Audit and Advisory lead, KPMG

    Director of Higher Education Internal Audit and Advisory lead at KPMG

  • David Hughes

    CEO, Association of Colleges

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