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The UK's only independent think tank devoted to higher education.


  • Are degree apprenticeships fit for purpose?

    22 February 2019 by Tom McEwan

    This guest blog has been kindly written for HEPI by Tom McEwan, Senior Researcher at Policy Conect and author of a new report on degree apprenticeships. In my speech at the launch of Degree Apprenticeships: Up to Standard?, I pivoted on a phrase which I heard throughout our inquiry: ‘degree apprenticeships are a great idea, but … ’. The remark drew a telling chuckle from the audience. Upon the launch of the model in 2015,…

  • The cap that doesn’t fit: Student numbers in Northern Ireland

    18 February 2019 by Brian Murphy

    This guest blog has been kindly written for HEPI by Professor Brian Murphy, Director of Access, Digital and Distributed Learning at Ulster University. Ulster University has four campuses across Northern Ireland and 27,000 students. It is the largest provider of undergraduate higher education in Northern Ireland and the second largest on…

  • What do we know about spending on staff?

    15 February 2019

    Last week HEPI wrote for the first time on the issue of university pensions, looking back at the history of the USS. As part of our commitment to welcoming debate, we invited UCU to respond to the report; you can read Matt Waddup’s blog here. One area highlighted by Matt in his…

  • Making sure the international education strategy works

    12 February 2019

    There is a great deal of hope that the Government’s long-promised international education strategy will move the UK to a better place when it comes to educating people from other countries.  I hope it does.  Few other policy areas have so much positive evidence going for them.  But writing and…

  • Three ways a higher education system can push towards more equal opportunity

    11 February 2019 by Simon Marginson

    A Guest blog kindly contributed by Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education in the University of Oxford’s Department of Education and Director of the ESRC/OFSRE Centre for Global Higher Education. This blog has been taken from his response to the speaker (Chris Millward of the Office for Students) at a…

  • Road Trip! The University Mental Health Charter Consultation

    8 February 2019 by Student Minds

    HEPI’s report The Invisible Problem? Improving Students Mental Health, by Poppy Brown, highlighted that despite students having access to strong social networks and better employment prospects, survey data repeatedly shows that student are on average less happy and more anxious than the general population, including other young people. As such…

  • Why we have chosen to write about the USS

    7 February 2019 by Nick Hillman

    The role of a think tank is – in large part – to make potentially dry subjects interesting, engaging and impactful. But just sometimes, our job is the opposite. It is to try and help temper subjects that have become so divisive that it is hard to make reasonable progress.…