Which? has partnered with the Higher Education Policy Institute to conduct the most comprehensive survey yet into the student academic experience. And this year the sample has been large enough to enable us to look at the experiences of a student studying the same subject at different universities. The 2013 Student Academic Experience Survey is published to coincide with HEPI's Spring Conference on university admissions and the academic experience of students.
This HEPI Report - part of an occasional series of HEPI Reports in which HEPI provides a platform for distinguished figures to reflect on important issues in higher education policy - focuses on the new arrangements for quality assurance in higher education with papers by Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive of the QAA and Professor Roger Brown, Professor of HE Policy at Liverpool Hope University.
This HEPI Report discusses the importance of part-time higher education, noting with concern the extent of the reduction in part-time student demand and also that the decline in demand has accelerated sharply this year, even among those part-time students eligible for loans. HEPI argues that not only is it likely that large numbers of part-time students have been put off study by the increased cost, but also that the measure that the Government put in place in the hope of offsetting the potentially off-putting impact of the cost increase has not been effective.
This HEPI Report, written by Ewart Wooldridge, founding Chief Executive of the Leadership for Higher Education (LFHE) offers his personal reflections on the nine years he spent establishing and running the LFHE spanning one of the most challenging periods of change which the HE sector has faced in recent times.
The report is part of an occasional series of HEPI Reports in which HEPI provides a platform for distinguished figures to reflect on important issues in higher education policy.
This report assesses the evidence that is available so far about enrolments at English universities this year. A central concern about the changes introduced in England in 2012 has been whether they would reduce demand for higher education, and particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. In carrying out this study we compared the pattern of enrolment over the years immediately preceding 2012 with that around the previous increase in fees in 2006. We also compared these with enrolments in Scotland, where fees are not charged, and we looked in particular at the pattern of deferred entrants as well as the number of students who apply aged 19 instead of the normal age of 18. Taking all these factors into account, our view remains that it is too early to judge whether the reforms taken as a whole have discouraged students in general, and disadvantaged students in particular, but that there is no evidence at present that they have.
This report analyses the evidence of the cost of the Government’s reforms to the funding of higher education effective from this year.
It concludes that the cost will be much higher than has been admitted, both because repayments of loans is likely to be much lower than claimed and also because the inflationary impact of the fees will mean that the level of benefits will be increased.
The report concludes that not only will the new arrangements prove much more expensive than previously thought, but even that they may be more expensive than the arrangements they replaced.
This report analyses the findings of the 2012 survey of various aspects of the student experience, including the amount of contact students have with their staff, the size of teaching groups, and the overall number of hours they devote to their studies. It updates the results of earlier surveys conducted in 2006 and 2007, and reflect on some of policy lessons to be drawn from the results.
Universities and constitutional change in the UK: the impact of devolution on the higher education sectorDate: 16 Apr 2012Author: Tony Bruce
This report considers whether the process of devolution in the UK has encouraged the development of more distinctive HE policies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland since 1999, and assesses the impact of devolution on the HE sectors in those nations, concluding that a number of common themes are emerging.
In this HEPI occasional report, Professor Sir David Watson discusses eight myths - category mistakes - concerning higher education that are widely believed, and argues that these need to be exploded if higher education is to maintain its current comparatively healthy state. This report is based on his presentation to a joint HEPI/HEA seminar at the House of Commons on 26 January 2012.
This report examines the characteristics of the UK higher education system from a number of different dimensions, looking particularly at whether there has been a reduction in diversity over recent years. It concludes that whereas there may have been some minor convergence in some respects, the system remains extremely diverse, and it provides tables and charts that show the extent of this diversity.
The risks of risk-based regulation: the regulatory challenges of the higher education White Paper for EnglandDate: 09 Nov 2011Author: Roger King
There is a growing trend - not only in this country - for governments to seek to lighten the burden of regulation by focusing their attention on those bodies that are at greatest risk of regulatory failure. This is the approach to regulation of higher education that is proposed by the government in its White Paper on higher education. This report, by Professor Roger King, examines risk-based regulation as it applies to higher education and the implications of this approach.
Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System. An Analysis of the Higher Education White PaperDate: 17 Aug 2011Author: John Thompson and Bahram Bekhradnia
This report analyses the Government's White Paper on the future of higher education. It concludes that the Government's policies will succeed in their most important aim – that of reducing the level of tuition fees. However, the price will be much greater government control over universities than in the past, and a system where market mechanisms have had to be sacrificed to central direction. The reforms are also likely to lead to a polarized sector with a small number of institutions charging the maximum fee of £9000 and the majority reducing their fees to around £7500. The report concludes further that there are serious doubts about whether the new funding arrangements will lead to savings on the scale predicted by the government.
This report considers the implications of current developments in the provision of private higher education. It concludes that private HE is a growing phenomenon, that can bring benefits to students, governments and society more widely, so long as measures are in place to ensure high quality. However the current regulatory environment has developed piecemeal, and the Report argues that a new Private Higher Education Act is needed. It also concludes that private providers should be treated on the same footing as public, and that differences in their treatment should exist only where fully and explicitly justified.
This reports considers the question of university governance and suggests that fundamental changes are needed because the balance of interests in our universities is rapidly changing. Students are increasingly taking on the full costs of their education, the state is moving towards being a loan facility rather than a granting body, and the pressures of competition are driving universities to be more entrepreneurial. Yet, the one unique role of the university, its "neutral space" for the generation and dissemination of knowledge, must still be preserved at all costs. The report looks at emerging questions for this changed new era. Whose interests should institutional governors serve in future? What skills should be required of future governors? And what authority should they hold, or should be held over them?
The UKBA’s Proposed Restrictions on Tier 4 visas: implications for University recruitment of overseas studentsDate: 18 Feb 2011Author: Professor Edward Acton
Professor Edward Acton analyses the Government's proposals to class international students as migrants with the resulting restriction on student visas, and shows the devastating effect this will have on the recruitment of international students and so the financial health of universities, as well as the damage it will cause to the UK economy.
This is the sixth report on demand for higher education that HEPI has published, updated each year in the light of the most recent information. The previous report considered the extent of latent demand from under-represented groups - particularly males and disadvantaged social groups, as well as regional variations. It also showed that there were significant numbers of pupils with very good GCSEs who did not progress with their education. This year's report builds on these findings, and considers the extent of likely unmet demand in the future, in passing also shedding light on the previous educational profile of students entering higher education - in particular that more than one third of entrants have no UCAS tariff points.
The government has recently announced its policy intentions towards higher education and student finance, in response to the Browne Review's recommendations. In this report we first provide a summary of the differences between the Browne Review and the government's proposals. We then look at whether these proposals meet the two main objectives: to reduce public expenditure and to improve the quality of university teaching by increasing student choice; we also examine the claim that the repayment scheme is progressive. Those who leave university without a qualification have been airbrushed out of the debate; we consider how the proposals will affect them. Finally we describe the likely responses to the changes of prospective students, universities and government.
New versions of the full report and annexes were uploaded on 22 November 2010 and an addendum was published on 14 December 2010.
Download HEPI's modified version of the BIS Ready Reckoner spreadsheet which shows details of the calculations we made to produce this report. (This file is large (22MB) and may take a considerable time to download. The workbook contains functions which are not available in earlier versions of Excel.)
The Independent Review of Higher Education and Student Finance, by Lord Browne, was published earlier this week. This report is HEPI's response to the proposals.
A new version of the report was uploaded on 19 October 2010.
This report supplements the research published by HEPI in June 2009 on “Male and female participation and progression in Higher Education”. It is in two parts. The first part provides further information on the employment outcomes of graduates, using more up-to-date data than was available when the original report was published. The second part reports on some further work done following comments and responses to the original report.
This report discusses the issues involved in comparability of degree standards. It is in two parts. Part 1 begins by outlining the means by which individual universities and colleges and the academic community collectively protect the standards of UK degrees. It then describes the historical attachment to comparability and the pressures which have led to questions being raised about it. Part 2 considers whether genuine comparability is still feasible, and what options may be open to UK higher education if it were found to be impracticable.