Time for research (Updated)

by Mark Leach November 28, 2011

Next week, we are expecting the government to launch their long-awaited Innovation & Research strategy. Still suffering whiplash from the HE White Paper, there are those in the sector feeling nervous about what might be coming. But do they need to be?

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HEPI’s analysis of the White Paper hits the nail on the head

by Mark Leach August 17, 2011

The long-awaited analysis of the HE White Paper was published today. Its long gestation allowed authors John Thompson and Bahram Bekhradnia the time to cast their net very widely and speak to many colleagues across the sector and Government. This has enabled them to provide the most thorough analysis of the White Paper to date […]

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How does HE fit into the wider economy?

by Newell July 8, 2011

I was lucky to be in the audience for White Noise, University Alliance’s seminar on the policy implications of the HE White Paper. The event was quite well attended and, I felt, indicative of the sort of seminars that mission groups should be putting on. UA evidence was presented and then an open discussion had, which raised some interesting points, two of which have continued to play on my mind.

The first came from UA’s Director, Libby Hackett. She said that, within the white paper, the wider view of higher education and how it fits into the economy is limited. In fact, it’s barely discussed. At the time I tweeted that I have never agreed with a sentence more and I stand by that.

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Want to be adored? Add a little ambition to the White Paper

by Mark Fuller July 1, 2011

Music fans of a certain vintage will have been reminded this week of the disappointment that greeted the release of the Stone Roses second album. Coming four and a half years after the Roses’ ground breaking debut, the ‘Second Coming’ was doomed from the start. Nothing would be good enough to satisfy the anticipation that the long delay had created.

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HE White Paper – A date for your diary [updated]

by News May 20, 2011

Much discussed and long-awaited, the Government will hope that by publishing the White Paper, they will be able to regain the initiative in HE policy and put an end to the needlessly turbulent months we’ve experienced. The publication will also herald the start of a long consultation which will doubtlessly garner a significantly substantial response and will hopefully inform the development of the policy proposals as they are taken away to be drafted in to a Bill sometime in early 2012.

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What did we learn from the BIS Business Plan?

by Mark Leach May 17, 2011

The answer is; not a great deal, but some useful morsels of information can be found with a bit of digging. One of the transparency initiatives of this Government has been to make Departmental business plans publicly accessible. They have all just been updated for May 2011 and the BIS plan is certainly worth a scan from an HE perspective, even though it’s not setting the world alight.

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HE White Paper: it’s time to back science

by Imran Khan April 18, 2011

There is a myth going round that science and engineering are having an easy ride, with both teaching and research escaping the new climate of austerity. After all, unlike in the arts and humanities, science and engineering undergraduate degrees will still be part-funded by HEFCE rather than relying solely on student fees – and the science research budget was frozen during last year’s spending review rather than being hit with cuts. So what’s to worry about?

In reality, HEFCE teaching grants took a hit across all disciplines. The only reason science subjects still get anything at all is because they cost more to teach, and were therefore getting more from HEFCE to begin with; think of the cost of a physics laboratory compared to a philosophy library.

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Why there may never be an HE white paper [updated 4/4]

by Mark Leach March 28, 2011

Last year, we were promised a white paper to bring together the Government’s vision for higher education post-Browne review and after the debate about fees had run its course. As we enter British Summer Time, it seems a good time to consider the status of this elusive document, originally scheduled for some time in ‘winter’. A few weeks ago we were told that its publication had been put back until the summer, to wait and see to how Universities responded to new OFFA guidance and how they set their fees. Since then, there has been mounting panic by the Government whose HE funding settlement with the Treasury depended on the average fee to be set at £7,500. As has been well documented elsewhere, the average is likely to be closer to £8,500 – which would see the Exchequer lose out considerably as they are forced to lend much more money than planned.

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