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So far Nick Hillman has created 332 entries.
19 02, 2018

Comment on the Prime Minister’s speech

19 February, 2018|News|0 Comments|

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech on education, Nick Hillman, the Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said:

On funding
The review team start with enormous expectations on their shoulders. People want them to reduce tuition fees for some or all courses, lower the interest on student loans, bring back maintenance grants, help part-time and mature learners and bolster Further Education colleges.

The Government has encouraged this speculation but it will be hard to satisfy all the expectations, especially if the Treasury is not willing to allow additional public spending on post-compulsory education. So the review team have a big job to do.
On student numbers
The most important recent change to higher education was not the increase in fees to £9,000 but the removal of student number controls. Imposing greater costs on taxpayers would make the re-imposition of student number controls much more likely. That would be really bad news for social mobility.

When places are rationed, the middle classes win the race for higher education and the poorest and most under-represented groups lose out. Many of our schools are full to bursting and it is vitally important that we do not re-impose student number controls just as the number of 18-year olds starts growing again early in the next decade.
On parity between academic and technical education
It is hard to disagree with the Prime Minister’s ambition of first-class technical education to match our first-class universities. Many of her predecessors have expressed the same ambition, but it is nonetheless undeniably a good thing that further education is to be included in the review.

There are two important caveats, however. First, 97 per cent of mothers want their children to go to university and we should respect their aspirations. Secondly, the […]

1 02, 2018

2017 HEPI Annual Lecture

1 February, 2018|Lectures, Publications|0 Comments|

This is a revised version of the most recent HEPI Annual Lecture, which focused in particular: on the ‘massification’ of higher education; the spread of liberal arts education; the expansion of the quantity of research; the importance of universities to innovation; and the need to provide the skills for the future.

1 02, 2018

How the rise of Asian universities is helping people move from ‘a career for life’ to ‘a lifetime of careers’

1 February, 2018|News|0 Comments|

The Higher Education Policy Institute is publishing Major shifts in global higher education: A perspective from Asia by Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President of the National University of Singapore (NUS) from 2008 to 2017, on Thursday, 1 February (HEPI Report 103).

This is a revised version of the most recent HEPI Annual Lecture, in which Professor Tan discussed the transformation of higher education in Asia. He focused in particular on: the ‘massification’ of higher education; the spread of liberal arts education; the expansion of the quantity of research; the importance of universities to innovation; and the need to provide the skills for the future.

Nick Hillman, HEPI Director, said:
The rise of Asian universities is, without doubt, the single most important current change happening in global higher education. It threatens the dominance of the Anglo-Saxon models in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, while also providing unrivalled opportunities for international co-operation. This HEPI Annual Lecture shows how the rapid changes occurred, considers what they mean and looks ahead to the future.
In the lecture, Professor Tan said:
In the developed economies of Asia, such as South Korea and Japan, high participation rates have been maintained. But the big story in the last decade has been the unprecedented rise in China and, to a lesser extent, India. The numbers involved are remarkable. It is estimated that, by 2020, China alone will have over 37 million students in higher education and India will have over 27 million. This is positive because many more students are having the opportunity to develop intellectually and pursue expanded career options. But it has also brought about significant challenges. The first is graduate unemployment and graduate under-employment. …

One significant trend has been […]

30 01, 2018

What’s the role of academics in supporting students’ mental health?

30 January, 2018|Blog|0 Comments|

HEPI has produced two recent reports on the important issue of students’ mental health (see here and here). Jointly with the Higher Education Academy, we also survey students each year to assess their wellbeing.

So we were delighted to see the important new report from Student Minds entitled Student Mental Health: The Role and Experiences of Academics, which Rachel Piper, Policy Manager at Student Minds, blogs about below. 

In HEPI’s 2016 report The invisible problem? Improving students’ mental health the author, Poppy Brown, says:
Academics are expected to have a significant research output to satisfy the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and are to be assessed more closely on the quality of their teaching through the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Close personal and proactive care of students of the sort provided by teachers is simply not possible for most academic tutors, and – unlike school pupils – most students are legally adults.
Academics help determine the quality of the student experience, but what role do they play in student mental health and wellbeing?

Through interviews with 52 academics (at five universities) with diverse experiences, Student Minds’ researchers found that responding to student mental health problems is now an inevitable part of the academic role. Often, universities encourage students to seek advice and support from academics for pastoral issues.

But most academics are unprepared for the inevitable demands of their role in relation to student mental health and, in the absence of training, support or supervision, draw from personal experience. This creates substantial variability in the skills that academics bring to the role and means that students cannot be sure of the response they will receive if they turn to an academic for support.

Academics identified that, in practice, their role in relation to student mental health […]

11 01, 2018

New study shows the benefits of international students are ten times greater than the costs – and are worth £310 per UK resident

11 January, 2018|News|2 Comments|

The Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan International Pathways are jointly publishing a major new piece of research, The costs and benefits of international students by parliamentary constituency, undertaken by London Economics.

Unlike earlier research, this study provides a detailed analysis of the costs as well as the benefits to the UK of welcoming 231,000 new international students each year. It shows:

the gross benefits – including tuition fees, other spending and economic knock-on effects – of international students amount to £22.6 billion
these gross benefits are, on average, £87,000 for each EU student and £102,000 for each non-EU student
the public costs of hosting international students – including education, health and social security – total £2.3 billion
these public costs are, on average, £19,000 for each EU student and £7,000 for each non-EU student
the net impact (benefits minus costs) of hosting international students totals £20.3 billion
this net impact is, on average, £68,000 for each EU student and £95,000 for each non-EU student
the net impact of international students is spread throughout the UK:

students in London generate £4.64 billion;
students in the South East generate £2.44 billion;
students in the West Midlands generate £1.95 billion;
students in Scotland generate £1.94 billion;
students in the North West generate £1.91 billion;
students in Yorkshire and the Humber generate £1.59 billion;
students in the East of England generate £1.34 billion;
students in the East Midlands generate £1.28 billion;
students in the South West generate £1.21 billion;
students in the North East generate £0.98 billion;
students in Wales generate £0.90 billion; and
students in Northern Ireland generate £0.17 billion.

The net impact of international students is £31.3 million on average per parliamentary constituency:

students in Sheffield […]

11 01, 2018

The costs and benefits of international students (including by parliamentary constituency)

11 January, 2018|Publications|2 Comments|

The Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan International Pathways are jointly publishing a major new piece of research, The costs and benefits of international students by parliamentary constituency, undertaken by London Economics.

It shows:

the gross benefits – including tuition fees, other spending and economic knock-on effects – of international students amount to £22.6 billion;
these gross benefits are, on average, £87,000 for each EU student and £102,000 for each non-EU student;
the public costs of hosting international students – including education, health and social security – total £2.3 billion;
these public costs are, on average, £19,000 for each EU student and £7,000 for each non-EU student;
the net impact (benefits minus costs) of hosting international students totals £20.3 billion; and
this net impact is, on average, £68,000 for each EU student and £95,000 for each non-EU student

8 01, 2018

New research suggests levels of independent study are more important than contact hours in determining how much students learn

8 January, 2018|News|0 Comments|

In What affects how much students learn? (HEPI Policy Note 5), Professor Tim Blackman, the Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, undertakes new analysis of the annual Student Academic Experience Survey and shows students’ self-reported learning gain depends upon:

access to high-quality teaching;
high levels of independent study (especially over 20 hours a week);
support for students with low wellbeing;
avoiding high levels of paid work (over 17 hours a week);
location of study, with extra challenges for London-based students; and
studying at an institution with a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Professor Tim Blackman, the author of the Policy Note, said:
The Student Academic Experience Survey is a rich source of data on what matters to student learning in higher education. This Policy Note reports a statistical analysis of the inter-relationships between the many variables in the survey and how much of an independent effect these variables have on whether students report having learnt “a lot” during their studies.

High-quality teaching emerges as especially important, regardless of other factors such as students’ prior attainment. Some variables, such as students’ hours of independent study, make a bigger difference the higher their value, while others – such as wellbeing – have a threshold effect, with low wellbeing significantly increasing the likelihood of not having learnt a lot.

The results also cast doubt on accelerated two year degrees as the best way for many students to achieve their full potential.
Nick Hillman, the Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said:
We do not know anything like enough about how students learn or how much they are learning. We need a more scientific approach to this issue, which our new report helps deliver.

Asking students how much they are learning and cross-referencing this with […]

8 01, 2018

What affects how much students learn? New analysis of Student Academic Experience Survey data

8 January, 2018|Publications|0 Comments|

New analysis of the HEPI / HEA Student Academic Experience Survey by Tim Blackman, the Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, reveals students’ self-reported learning gain is linked to:

having access to high-quality teaching
undertaking high levels of independent study (especially above 20 hours a week) • providing support for students with low wellbeing
avoiding high levels of paid work (above 17 hours a week)
location of study, with extra challenges for London-based students
studying at an institution with a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework

4 01, 2018

A Guide to UK League Tables in Higher Education

4 January, 2018|Publications|0 Comments|

This HEPI report looks under the bonnet of the three main UK league tables – The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide, the Guardian University Guide and the Complete University Guide.

Intended as a reference tool for governors, managers and policymakers, it reveals how the wealth of data is used by league tables compilers.

It also highlights some limitations of league tables in the hope that greater awareness will lead to more e ective and appropriate use – by governors, policymakers and others.

4 01, 2018

New guide explains the mysteries of university rankings

4 January, 2018|News|0 Comments|

The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) are jointly publishing A Guide to UK League Tables in Higher Education by Sally Turnbull.

The paper looks at what goes in to making up the three main UK university rankings, which are published by The Times and Sunday Times, the Guardian and the Complete University Guide. It considers the similarities and differences between them and urges prospective students, policymakers and higher education providers to use them with caution.

Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), said:
Universities are judged by their position in the league tables. Rankings determine reputation, prestige and student numbers. That is why university governing bodies hold their vice-chancellors to account for their league table positions.

But users of the league tables tend to know little about how the rankings are put together. In other words, they do not know, precisely, what it is they are holding people to account for.

The main league tables are not going to disappear any time soon because they provide comparative information and people find them useful. But they are easily and often misunderstood. My hope is that everyone who holds our universities to account will set themselves a new year’s resolution to look under the bonnet of the league tables before using them.
Sally Turnbull, the author of the report and Head of Planning and Insight at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), said:
Our new guide is aimed at building a deeper understanding of what the different UK league tables measure and what they ignore. It also points out that many valuable things done by institutions cannot be easily measured or incorporated into the rankings.

Having spent more time than is probably healthy […]