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It is widely understood that graduates with higher level skills are critical to the ability of the UK economy to innovate and thus be competitive internationally so it is vitally important that the way we measure how the supply of graduates meets the demand of employers is useful to both universities and businesses. Rosa Fernandez looks at recent research that shows why current measures of graduate employability are not sufficient, and shows how it could improve.

Big update

by Mark Leach April 11, 2014

A few months ago we embarked on an ambitious project to substantially grow this site and its activities and I am pleased to report that things are progressing very well indeed. We want to be the sector’s daily destination for all commentary, debate and analysis about higher education and be an important platform for the new and previously unheard voices in the sector. Our big ambitions are backed up by a big strategy that we are now in the first phase of delivering and I wanted to report back today about our progress and announce the first of many partnerships, as well as a new Editorial Group.

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RAB and the wizardry of student finance

by Andy Westwood March 25, 2014

The last week has seen a political and media frenzy as it has come clear that the RAB charge is now coming very close to the point where the new HE funding system costs around the same as when fees were just above £3k. With the wider public understandably not engaged in the wizardry of public accounting and a sector avoiding an opportunity for self-reflection, Andy Westwood attempts to unpick the dark arts at play, the rows that overlay them and attempts to drill just a little bit deeper.

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The changing role of PVC

by Sue Shepherd March 18, 2014

Things are changing for deputy and pro vice chancellors (PVCs) as is wider management and leadership in today’s increasingly complicated higher education sector. Sue Shepherd takes a look at these changing careers, who are occupying the posts and why it matters to universities and the sector at large.

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Apprenticeships or university – a false choice

by Andy Westwood March 7, 2014

As we mark the end of Apprenticeships Week, Andy Westwood looks at how politicians and the media talk about apprenticeships and the false choice they continually present between them and higher education. There are good reasons to expand higher level apprenticeships, but this needs to happen in a better way – in collaboration with universities and learning from examples abroad.

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From Browne to Diamond

by Kieron Rees February 21, 2014

As the Diamond review of Welsh higher education gears up this week, Kieron Rees looks at how Welsh and English HE have become tied together – particularly in the debates about funding and fees since 2010. Reflecting on the Browne Review and its effect on higher education in Wales, Kieron compares the two reviews to shed some light on what Diamond might bring to Welsh (and English) higher education policy over the next two years.

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Time to end the messy status quo

by Nick Hillman February 20, 2014

In his first report as Director of HEPI, Nick Hillman calls for an end to the messy status quo that has led to fragmentation across UK higher education and it’s regulatory regime. He calls for policymakers to set out where they stand and bring the debate forward despite difficult politics to settle the many outstanding questions that lay before us.

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Winners and losers in the current system

by Libby Hackett February 14, 2014

There is no doubt that, as with most changes, the £9,000 fee system introduced in England in 2012-13 created winners and losers. We know that applications are back up for full-time undergraduates – and we know this includes students from non-traditional backgrounds, which is great. But that is not the whole story. On the day the Public Accounts Committee confirm the rising costs of writing off loans, Libby Hackett looks at the winners and losers in the current system, and calls for a fundamental rethink.

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The narcissism of minor differences

by Andy Westwood February 11, 2014

They finally arrived yesterday. BIS published both the HEFCE grant letter and the SFA’s Skills Funding Statement. One was 6 pages and the other 60 but they both delivered roughly the same amount of cash to the FE and HE sectors. They also delivered more or less what had been set out in the Autumn Statement – i.e. some quite significant cuts to both sectors but not too much more on top of what George Osborne delivered in December. Andy Westwood gives some early thoughts on the letters and the scramble over funding that will come.

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Life of PI: performance indicators in higher education

by Adam Child February 10, 2014

Performance indicators might sound dull, but how the sector chooses to evaluate themselves in the future will have a huge impact on league tables, reputation and institutional success. Post-financial crisis and with a political desire to create a ‘level playing field’, shaping the future of performance indicators takes on a new urgency and raises a host of complications that the sector needs to get to grips with. Adam Child takes a look for us.

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Review of wonkhe’s 3rd year

by Mark Leach January 31, 2014

Wonkhe went live three years ago today, and as we celebrate our 3rd birthday, founder and Editor in Chief Mark Leach looks back at the last 12 months. With lots of exciting plans for the site and its surrounding organisation, today is also a good moment to preview some of the interesting developments that we have planned. Thank you for reading and supporting us for another year.

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