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What were people reading about higher education in the past academic year?

  • 2 August 2019

At this time of year, we tend to take stock at HEPI. Not only does the end of July mark the end of our financial year, but many students have now left their campuses for the summer, graduands are becoming graduates, academic staff are hoping (finally) to make faster progress on their research and other staff are gearing up for the 2019 admissions round – while the precariat are often still searching for their next opportunity position.

So it seems an opportune moment to look back to see which of our blogs during the past year have proved to be of most interest to people. The list below shows the top 20 in rank order and include hyperlinks that will take you straight to each one. The list excludes our publications and press releases as it is just for our blogs. It also excludes blogs produced before August 2018.

The list is topped and tailed by controversial issues. The top two entries are on how universities should represent themselves in the corridors of power and the challenges faced by academics today. At numbers 19 and 20 are the vexed issues of the Augar report and the rules for international students.

The issues in between also provide a good reflection of the higher education sector’s top priorities since this time last year. The topics covered include: the National Student Survey, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, inaccuracies in public exam results and university admissions.

  1. Universities have lost the country: Here’s how UUK must reform to win it back
  2. The university has become an anxiety machine
  3. Some new perspectives on the 2018 A level results: STEM gap remains but decline in foreign languages exaggerated
  4. 1 school exam grade in 4 is wrong. That’s the good news…
  5. Students will be given more than 1.5 million wrong GCSE, AS and A level grades this summer. Here are some potential solutions. Which do you prefer?
  6. UCU response to HEPI’s new paper on the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)
  7. Comment on the National Student Survey results (and why the NSS needs another revamp)
  8. Four ways the Augar review impacts on Widening Participation in higher education
  9. Degrees of inequality
  10. 1 school exam grade in 4 is wrong. Does this matter?
  11. What will the next Prime Minister think of higher education?
  12. Lunchtime takeaways: 10 points to note in today’s Augar report (including some overlooked ones)
  13. When is an unconditional offer not an unconditional offer – and other points missed
  14. Initial response to the Augar proposals
  15. The ‘unbundling’ of the university experience – a shot across the bows
  16. Why universities are spending millions on marketing
  17. Why banning students with below 3Ds from having a student loan may not be deliverable in practice
  18. How should we respond to reports of a declining graduate premium?
  19. Augar and the Industrial Strategy: 10 key points for the incoming Prime Minister about the creative arts and creative industries
  20. Thoughts on today’s (woefully-disappointing) Migration Advisory Committee report on international students.

Most of the entries date from the second half of the calendar year, which reflects the greater volume of blogs posted: if you are not yet receiving our blogs direct into your in-box, please sign up to do so in the box at the bottom of our homepage at

Finally, if there is a burning issue that you would like to blog for us on in 2019/20, do get in touch.

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