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BBC - 'Research schools' for social mobility zones

Education Secretary Justine Greening is to announce a wave of "research schools" to raise standards in disadvantaged parts of England. This will be part of an announcement of six more "opportunity areas", where efforts will be focused to improve social mobility. There will now be 12...

Wonkhe - What determines university choice, and what is its monetary value?

Policy blog Wonkhe looks at the competitive market for HE admissions, and what influences applicants' choices about where they want to go, saying: "it is all the more important than ever that universities understand in detail the factors influencing the choice of one university over another." ...

Telegraph - The Government is championing new university providers - but where's the evidence to prove they're fit for purpose?

G.R. Evans, Emeritus Professor of Medieval Theology and Intellectual History, University of Cambridge, examines the challenges in ensuring "alternative" HE providers are up to the task. Read her article in the Telegraph here: ...

Telegraph - Restricting the flow of students to the UK is not in the interests of the wider UK economy

Professor Jo Beall, Director of  Education and Society at the British Council, writes in the Telegraph: "The UK is the world’s most recommended English-speaking destination amongst international undergraduate students. "The sector is extremely international, with 28 percent of academic...

Independent - Record number of university students graduate with first-class degrees

The proportion of students graduating with top degrees has soared in the past five years, with a quarter of last year’s candidates leaving university with a first. New figures detailing student enrolment and qualifications show a quarter of students at UK universities now graduate...

Independent - Cap on international student visas could cost UK economy £2bn a year

Visa restrictions limiting the number of overseas students coming to study in the UK could cost the country up to £2bn per year, new analysis shows. Forecasts published by the Higher Policy Education Institute (Hepi) on the potential effects of Brexit warned that...

Telegraph - More than 20,000 university students buying essays and dissertations as Lords call for ban on 'contract cheating'

The fraudulent essay industry must be outlawed, leading academics and lords have urged as figures obtained by The Telegraph reveal that more than 20,000 students are buying professionally-written essays every year. Research carried out by Doctor Thomas Lancaster and Robert Clarke, two of the...

Telegraph - Brexit will be good for universities, Oxford’s new Head of Brexit strategy says

British universities will establish global networks and recruit the world's "best and brightest" students outside of the European Union, Oxford University's head of Brexit strategy has claimed. Speaking publicly for the first time since his appointment in December, Professor Alastair Buchan...

Times Higher - Two-fifths of scholars ‘more likely to quit UK’ after Brexit vote

Forty per cent of UK academics, and three-quarters of continental EU academics in the country, say they are “more likely to consider leaving” Britain after the Brexit vote, according to a University and College Union survey. The survey, carried out by YouGov and commissioned by the UCU, also...

Wonkhe - Why part-time study should be a priority in the HE Bill

Jonathan Woodhead, Policy Adviser at Birkbeck, University of London, writes for Wonkhe: "What Peers tell me they want to focus attention on are the missed opportunities of this Bill." One of these is arresting the decline in part-time study, with the number of part-time students...

Telegraph - University students demand philosophers such as Plato and Kant are removed from syllabus because they are white

Students at a prestigious London university are demanding that figures such as Plato, Descartes and Immanuel Kant should be largely dropped from the curriculum because they are white. The student union at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) insists that when studying...

Telegraph - Does a degree today represent value for money? Not if you're going on the number of contact hours

An Exeter Uni student writes in the Telegraph that with " almost two-thirds of students [expressing] dissatisfaction at the value of their degree... t he onus is now on universities to register their students' dissatisfaction and attempt to partially increase contact hours. Should they be...

Independent - Government reforms to higher education leave 'scam' universities unregulated, report warns

New higher education legislation being put before Parliament could put students and the reputations of UK universities at risk, even encouraging “scam” universities, independent experts have warned. An extensive report released by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) suggests nearly...

Guardian - What will happen in higher education in 2017?

A Brexit brain drain, the HE Bill and student activism - some of the things Guardian contributors expect to see this year. Read the full article here:  www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2017/jan/05/what-will-happen-in-higher-education-in-2017

BBC - Fake university degree websites shut down

More than 40 fraudulent websites have been shut down in a major crackdown on the sale of fake degrees. The sites closed included those selling authentic-looking certificates using the names of real British universities. Others were providers offering distance learning courses but were not...

Telegraph - Number of Scots missing out on university more than doubles

The number of Scottish applicants missing out on a university place increased to a new record level last year after more than doubling over the past decade of SNP rule, official figures have disclosed. Universities admissions body Ucas has published data showing the number of Scots who failed...

Independent - Lords revolt over Government reforms to 'turn university world upside down'

The Indy reports on a cross-party revolt in the House of Lords over the Higher Education and Research Bill. Read it here:  www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/lords-revolt-governments-university-reforms-higher-education-research-bill-lord-patten-profit-a7504466.html

Guardian - Leave state control of universities to China, by Chris Patten

Lord Patten, chancellor of Oxford University, writes in defence of the independence of the UK's highr education sector, under threat in the HE Bill. Read his open letter to Jo Johnson here: ...

Observer - Lords revolt over plans for ‘free-market’ universities

The government faces a huge cross-party revolt next week over controversial reforms of higher education that would make it easier for new colleges to award degrees, become universities and make profits from teaching students. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and crossbench peers in the House of...

Lincolnshire Live - Thought university is not for you? 2017 is time to think again

Lincolnshire Live reports on a new scheme which aims to get more people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Lincolnshire going to university, being led in the county by Bishop Grosseteste University. BGU is at the head of a consortium of Lincolnshire universities...

BBC - Social mobility promise 'broken' for ethnic minority children

Black and Asian Muslim children are less likely to get professional jobs, despite doing better at school, according to an official report. The Social Mobility Commission said it uncovered "stark differences" between how groups progress into work. Some minorities have higher jobless rates,...

Herald - Scottish universities hit out over UK plans to limit overseas students

Scottish universities have called on the UK Government to stop “punishing” the sector for its international exports, says the Herald in Scotland. "Figures show that the value of international exports from Scotland’s university sector stand at £444 million based on the direct fee income from...

Times Higher - Without context, looking at graduate earnings by university is pointless

Bahram Bekhradnia, president and former director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, writes for the THE about the release of graduate outcomes data: "To be useful, contextual (or rather, benchmarked) information is critical: what a student needs to know is how someone exactly like him...

Independent - Government sneaks out £250 tuition fee rise for existing students

The Government has moved to raise tuition fees by £250 without any announcement from the Department for Education (DfE). Regulations to allow the changes, which will see fees go up to £9,250, were published earlier this week to the National Archives legislation store. Read the full article...

Times Higher - Wole Soyinka: how to detoxify young minds from indoctrination

In an edited version of his speech at Times Higher Education’s BRICS and Emerging Economies Universities Summit, held at the University of Johannesburg, Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka is quoted in the THE on how to induct new university students to counter extremist...

Wonkhe - 2016 was bad but we need to brace for an even worse 2017

Martin McQuillan, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research at Kingston University, London, writes for policy blog Wonkhe about the challenges coming in 2017 for the higher education sector. These include the TEF, the REF, a forecast downturn in applications for 2017, the Higher Education and...

Evening Standard - Halving number of foreign students is ‘economic self-harm’ say universities

London's top universities today warned the Government that dramatically reducing the number of international students allowed into Britain would be “economic self-harm”. Leading institutions including UCL, King’s College and the London School of Economics said they were “hugely...

Dezeen - Design schools will "hit the wall" due to Brexit, warns The Council for Higher Education in Art & Design

The Brexit vote has led to a "brain drain" of teaching staff and a drop in student numbers at the UK's architecture and design institutes, according to a body representing creative higher education establishments, which warns that universities will be forced to shut down. "We...

Wonkhe - Multiple measures of inequality show there is work still to do in widening access

Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS chief executive, writes for Wonkhe about the introduction of a multiple equality measure (MEM) in UCAS’ 2016 End of Cycle Report. Thist combines the effects of different dimensions of equality (area, income background, school sector, sex, and ethnic...

Wonkhe - Flatlines, Brexit, and other lessons from this year’s admissions cycle

UCAS’s End of Cycle Report for 2016 has been released. Policy blog Wonkhe writes on the report's implications for universities seeking to stay financially afloat in the competitive higher education market, and for those seeking to make higher education access fairer and more...