When robustly challenged about HE and immigration policy this week, James Brokenshire MP, Minister of State for Immigration made clear that, despite growing calls for policy change, he was ruling out excluding international students from the net migration figures. But are there signs that this might change after the election? Alistair Jarvis takes a look from Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

Clearing up the information landscape

by Johnny Rich September 29, 2014

Information is dangerous territory for HEFCE. There’s a lot riding on getting the balance right between what students and the taxpayer have a right to expect, and the burden on universities in providing it. The 2011 White Paper argued that in order to be ‘at the heart of the system’, students would need a diverse ecosystem of information. A landscape that would foster free market choices and a relentless competitive drive towards quality. However the diversity has instead created a jungle of data. Johnny Rich sets out the issues and 7 principles for clearing up the data landscape.

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UKIP’s latest education policies

by Mark Leach September 26, 2014

With the General Election only 7 months away, UKIP are this week holding their final party conference and so have announced a spate of new policies include those relating to higher education. Mark Leach takes a brief look at them.

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The postgraduate identity crisis

by Jenny Shaw August 4, 2014

With rising fears that there is a crisis looming in English postgraduate higher education, Jenny Shaw takes a look at a recent study which shows that that there is a crisis in identity and belonging amongst postgraduate students. With so much policy attention focussing on full time undergraduates and their fees, is it now time to look seriously at what is going on beneath the surface of the complicated postgraduate landscape?

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Uncertainty versus risk in HE regulation

by Andrew Boggs August 1, 2014

Continuing his series on HE regulation, Andrew Boggs of the former Higher Education Better Regulation Group examines a new approach which new higher education regulation should employ. Particularly, Andrew will consider uncertainty-based, rather than risk-based, approaches to regulation – a meaningful difference that will require greater trust between regulators and providers and investment in human intelligence at the expense of data dependence.

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Beyond the broken funding system

by Sam Jones July 24, 2014

As the BIS Select Committee adds its weight to the growing consensus about the (un)sustainability of the Coalition’s higher education funding policies, Sam Jones looks at the difficult political and economic climate both before and after next year’s General Election. With the policy case now hard to refute, he calls for another Browne-style review to create political consensus and lasting change.

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The legacy of David Willetts

by Andy Westwood July 17, 2014

As longstanding higher education and science minister David Willetts steps down from his government post, and from politics in general, Andy Westwood looks back at his time with the brief – from 2005 when in opposition to today. What will be his legacy? Is it too soon to judge? With mixed feelings in the sector, the ultimate legacy of David Willetts may take quite some time to fully understand. In the mean time, there’s much to learn from the last nine years with David Willetts.

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World-class universities or systems?

by Jamil Salmi July 9, 2014

With governments around the world looking to rankings to measure success, and perusing prestige in its various forms, is this now becoming an unhealthy distraction from creating sustainable systems that include institutions with distinctive missions able to meet the needs of the societies and economies that they serve? Jamil Salmi, the a global tertiary education expert, writes about this growing tension.

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Balancing power in the market

by Jim Dickinson July 7, 2014

With the arrival of the Competition and Markets Authority to the higher education sector, debates about consumerism, regulation and the role of students and their institutions have intensified. In this piece, Jim Dickinson looks at power and the balance set between students, academics and institutions. Jim asks if this question of power is being left out of the debate and offers a different way to look at the work of the CMA and the debates around their intervention.

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