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What were people reading about higher education in 2023?

  • 22 December 2023
  • By Josh Freeman
  • This blog was authored by Josh Freeman, Policy Manager at HEPI.

We are almost at the end of 2023, and you know what that means – we are due a round-up of the year’s most popular HEPI blogs.

The year, we celebrated our 20th birthday and it has arguably been HEPI’s biggest yet, with more website views than any other year in our history.

Below we list our Top 20 blogs published in 2023. Those published later in the year that made the list deserve particular plaudits, as they have had much less time to score hits than, say, a blog published back in January 2023.

Topping the charts is former Universities Minister Jo Johnson with his June piece on the importance of international students to UK higher education. He evidently caught the mood of the sector in a year when international students have been increasingly caught up in wider Government efforts  to reduce net migration.

Several blogs from previous years continue to do well – not least Rachel Hewitt’s (sadly) timeless piece ‘Mind the gap: gender differences in higher education’.

The list below only covers HEPI blogs, but many of HEPI’s reports made an even bigger splash, including:

The latest version of the HEPI / Advance HE Student Academic Experience Survey was another top read – not least its key finding that more than half of students are now in part-time work during term.

2023 saw three blog editors: I took over from HEPI’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, Rose Stephenson, who picked it up from HEPI Director, Nick Hillman, in March. But the real heroes of the HEPI blog are its hard-working authors, without whom there would be no entries to publish. We always need new submissions, so if you think 2024 might be the year for you send shockwaves through UK higher education in less than 1,000 words, do get in touch.

From the whole HEPI team, we wish you a very merry Christmas, happy New Year and a rich and fulfilling 2024.

Top blogs 2023

  1. The future for international students in the UK, 14 June by Jo Johnson
  2. Five steps UCAS is taking to reform the undergraduate admissions process, 12 January by Kim Eccleston
  3. How reliable are exam grades?, 14 August by Mary Curnock Cook
  4. Leicester – A super diverse city, 10 January by Nishan Canagarajah
  5. Creative graduates enrich society – it’s time we recognised it, 15 July by Polly Mackenzie
  6. Accommodation shortages: are the odds stacked against students?, 29 August by Martin Blakey
  7. The latest developments in student accommodation, 28 March by Martin Blakey
  8. Should there be a new statutory duty of care for students in higher education?, 7 November by Bob Abrahart
  9. Graduate employability takes top spot in the battle of the metrics – so it’s time we understood it better, 13 March by Harriet Dunbar-Morris and Tom Lowe
  10. Are universities really at risk of ending up in the public sector?, 21 March by Julian Gravatt.
  11. A Risk-Based approach – reflection of an institutional experience of the new quality assessment review by the Office for Students, 12 September by David Phoenix
  12. International Student Recruitment: why we shouldn’t hit the panic button just yet, 14 November by Alex Berka
  13. Shortened medical degrees: a threat to quality?, 11 September by James Tooley and Jo Harris
  14. What’s going on with the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill?, 1 February by Josh Freeman
  15. Shifts, shocks, fragility: are English universities on a sustainable course?, 6 November by John Raftery
  16. Shifts in global demand for UK higher education and their implications, 4 February by Janet Ilieva and Vangelis Tsiligiris
  17. Seven in ten students consider dropping out – How can universities fix this gloomy statistic?, 2 March by Leo Hanna
  18. Just what is the state of private education in 2023?, 8 February by Nick Hillman
  19. Five things we know ahead of results day 2023, 13 July by Clare Marchant
  20. Trouble at paper mill, 4 July by Roger Watson

Thank you to everyone who has written, read or engaged in other ways with HEPI’s output over the course of the past year. Have a wonderful festive break and see you for more in 2024, which seems set to be (yet) another big year for UK higher education!

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