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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The future of Higher National Diplomas

by Julian Gravatt July 3, 2014

Anyone interested in higher education funding and regulation should take some time out in the next few weeks to think about Higher National Diplomas. The plan recently announced by BIS to transfer HNDs and HNCs out of the higher education funding system represents an important moment in policy for both HE and FE. Julian Gravatt looks at the long history of higher nationals and the implications of BIS’ latest proposals for funding and regulation.

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Quality enhancement at a crossroads

by Robin Middlehurst July 1, 2014

The Higher Education Academy’s Annual Conference this week signals its tenth year as the UK’s quality enhancement agency for teaching and learning. The focus of the conference is ‘Preparing for learning futures’ over the next decade. Given significant cuts to the Academy’s budget over the next two years, the conference focus will likely be as much about the HEA’s future as about the learning futures in the title. In this piece, Robin Middlehurst looks at the important challenges now faced by the Academy, sector and Government and presents the key choices that now need to made.

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The 1994 Education Act and students’ unions

by Alex Bols June 26, 2014

It is now twenty years since the 1994 Education Act, an important moment for students’ unions and the higher education sector at large. Much has changed since, both inside the student movement and outside where perceptions of students and representation has been constantly evolving. Alex Bols takes a look at the last 20 years of evolution and how it might inform the next 20 years of students’ unions.

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Thatcher’s enduring legacy to British HE

by Tom Bailey June 23, 2014

What did Margaret Thatcher ever do to British universities? The last few days have seen much analysis of Thatcher’s legacy for universities, research and science – which gives us an appropriate moment to assess the history. Tom Bailey takes a look at Thatcher and her critics – when in power and today – and how their response to her policies shaped today’s landscape.

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