Do we already have comprehensive universities?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on July 20th, 2017 by steve

“Today’s HEPI Occasional Paper on ‘The Comprehensive University’ is an important addition to the growing debate around meaningful change within a system that continues to favour the socially privileged and the well tutored …” (more)

[Edward Peck, Wonkhe, 20 July]


First-class university degrees on the increase

Posted in Teaching on July 19th, 2017 by steve

“The proportion of firsts awarded by UK universities has soared with a third of institutions now grading at least one in four degrees with the top honour, figures released today reveal …” (more)

[Shân Ross, The Scotsman, 19 July]

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What do universities need to prevent a Brexodus?

Posted in Governance and administration on July 18th, 2017 by steve

“EU nationals form a huge part of the teaching, research and student communities at British universities. In the Russell Group alone there are 25,000 EU staff and over 60,000 EU students. These EU nationals are making valuable contributions to our campuses and are investing in the UK; we value them highly and want them to stay, but they need solid guarantees about their future …” (more)

[Hollie Chandler, Wonkhe, 18 July]

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Ireland’s Universities Could Reap Brexit’s Benefits, if they Seize its Opportunities

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Negotiations on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU started nearly a month ago. Forecasts of the potential impact of Brexit on the Irish economy, the border and the peace process in Northern Ireland send chills down many people’s spines. However, despite its potentially disastrous consequences …” (more)

[Neale Richmond, University Times, 15 July]

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England has lost its damn mind over tuition fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on July 10th, 2017 by steve

“Ok, I said I wouldn’t write over the summer unless someone of importance said something titanically stupid. Andrew Adonis, architect of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s education policies crossed that line on Friday with a – yes – titanically stupid column about tuition fees, so here I am …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 10 July]

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Students win £1.5m pledge from UCL after five-month rent strike

Posted in Governance and administration on July 6th, 2017 by steve

“Student campaigners today declared ‘a major win’ after a five-month rent strike in protest over costly accommodation prices came to an end. The protest group UCL Cut the Rent has reached a deal with the university after 200 students withheld their rents – which range from £154 to £276 a week …” (more)

[Alfie Packham, Guardian, 6 July]


First UK-EU branch campus post-Brexit under consideration

Posted in Governance and administration on July 6th, 2017 by steve

“Collaboration between King’s College London and a leading German university is set to result in the establishment of the first offshore campus of a UK higher education institution to be set up on the Continent in the wake of the country’s vote to leave the European Union …” (more)

[Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 6 July]

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What can British Universities do to Reassure International Students That They Are Still Welcome in the UK?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 4th, 2017 by steve

“An uncomfortable truth we uncovered in our latest QS report, ‘Is Brexit Turning International Students Away From the UK?’, was that for some students, the events on the 27th of June 2016 and the press coverage surrounding the EU referendum result all pointed towards a major red flag; Britain is no longer welcoming to immigrants …” (more)

[Josephine West, QS Intelligence Unit, 3 July]

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Preparing your university for a visit by Donald Trump

Posted in Governance and administration on July 4th, 2017 by steve

“Ever since the UK Government extended an invitation for a full state visit from the President of the United States, there’s been debate about what a Donald Trump trip to the UK should look like. Should he be allowed to address Parliament? Will the focus be on London or elsewhere? …” (more)

[Mark Leach and Ant Bagshaw, Wonkhe, 3 July]

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The Paradox of Institutional Change in Universities: The Strategic Need for a Pincer-Movement

Posted in Governance and administration on June 30th, 2017 by steve

“The last 10 years has seen most Universities in the UK undergo significant restructuring. These processes, which are still ongoing – most terribly at Manchester and the OU at the moment – are intended to deliver transformations to the institution’s financial viability, their ‘market appeal’, improvement of the student experience, and increasing competitiveness in research and teaching …” (more)

[Improvisation Blog, 30 June]

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Brexit Issues

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 30th, 2017 by steve

IrelandJan O’Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the possible affect of Brexit on fees and access to higher education for Irish students who attend British universities and colleges; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 28 June]

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Students Reveal Brexit is Likely to Have Uneven Impacts on the UK’s Higher Education System

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 29th, 2017 by steve

“Students believe the British higher education system will be ‘downgraded’ following Brexit, with uneven impacts across the sector. During interviews for our Brexit report, many students expressed the view that in a post-Brexit UK, the only universities worth applying to would be the elite, Russell Group institutions …” (more)

[Josephine West, QS Intelligence Unit, 28 June]

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Disrupting institutional entitlement in higher education: the Teaching Excellence Framework

Posted in Teaching on June 27th, 2017 by steve

“Let me first of all declare an interest. This post is going to be about the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in the UK. My university, Robert Gordon University, entered, and was awarded a Gold rating. So you may conclude that this colours my judgement. But let me first go back some ten years to a meeting I attended on university rankings …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 26 June]

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Stop censoring student journalists – we’re trying to hold universities to account

Posted in Governance and administration on June 24th, 2017 by steve

“Student journalism is often – and rightly – applauded for the work it does at universities across the country. Many of the bylines that now sit atop newsprint began their days in student newsrooms, chasing stories across campus …” (more)

[Guardian, 23 June]

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University rankings: good intentions, image polishing and more bureaucracy

Posted in Teaching on June 24th, 2017 by steve

“Some UK universities will be cheering, some groaning, after the release of rankings under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). My own university received a silver, so we’re shrugging. Despite all these reactions, we don’t know if we can expect any impact on the quality of teaching. What we do know, however, is that it will lead to a large-scale image polishing, the mushrooming of rankings-related bureaucracy, judicious gaming of the new rules, and cynicism amongst professors and lecturers …” (more)

[Andre Spicer, The Conversation, 23 June]

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TEF results – How do REF and TEF results compare?

Posted in Governance and administration on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

“My first ever blog for Wonkhe was back in 2014, just after the REF results were released. I compared those results with NSS, to see if they could give us an idea of different institutions’ strategic focuses on research and teaching …” (more)

[David Morris, Wonkhe, 22 June]

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Eight first lessons from the TEF results

Posted in Teaching on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

“The Teaching Excellence Framework could have a seismic impact on the reputations of British universities, both for good and for ill. As effectively a government-sponsored evaluation, its Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards could be stuck with institutions for up to three years …” (more)

[David Morris, Wonkhe, 22 June]

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The results of the Teaching Excellence Framework

Posted in Teaching on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

“No exit polls here or counts to follow through the night. Just the final outcomes showing higher education institutions that have been awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards for the quality of their teaching, student experience, and graduate outcomes. Wonkhe is full of analysis of these results and will continue to be so throughout Thursday, with the underlying data released by HEFCE just after midnight …” (more)

[Wonkhe, 22 June]

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Performance management is here to stay, but TEF needs a rethink

Posted in Teaching on June 21st, 2017 by steve

“The post-election regroupement of the government provides a surprising and welcome opportunity to rethink the TEF before it does too much damage, before the shaping of behaviours and unplanned consequences become entrenched …” (more)

[Simon Marginson, Wonkhe, 21 June]

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The Great Exodus

Posted in Governance and administration on June 20th, 2017 by steve

“All of us in the United Kingdom, and universities specifically, are still struggling to discern what the practical implications of Brexit will be. We are not helped by the total confusion in the matter right now, with no clear consensus either in the UK government or the opposition as to what should be the desired outcome of the negotiations that began, sort of, in Brussels yesterday …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 19 June]

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