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


The HEPI Blog aims to make brief, incisive contributions to the higher education policy landscape. It is circulated to our subscribers and published online. We welcome guest submissions, which should follow our Instructions for Blog Authors. Submissions should be sent to our Blog Editor, Josh Freeman, at [email protected].

  • Weekend Reading: What to do about university funding?

    20 April 2024 by David Willetts

    Our universities face a funding crisis. Fees of £9,250 are not sufficient to cover the costs of delivering higher education to the typical student. But many people, including many policymakers, do not believe this. They think it looks like quite a lot of money for modest contact hours and limited…

  • Increasing university spinouts: we need to talk about people

    19 April 2024 by Simonetta Manfredi

    It has been said that the translation of research into profitable and impactful businesses is one of ‘Higher Education’s best-kept secrets’! University spinouts can bring to market cutting-edge research and technology, create jobs and contribute to economic growth. No matter which party wins the next general election, they will want…

  • Wilting in the weeds: The risks of implementing university strategy through operational creep

    18 April 2024 by Susan Lea

    At any time, but particularly in times of challenge, an executive team’s leadership of the university’s strategy is paramount. This strategy charts the path to achieving shared institutional vision and mission, embodies organisational identity, frames associated plans, informs targets and timeframes and, ultimately, is the measure of a Vice Chancellor…

  • Creating a sense of empowerment through engagement data

    17 April 2024 by Simon Rimmington

    In the rapidly evolving landscape of higher education, universities are increasingly embracing engagement dashboards and learner analytics as powerful tools in their quest to enhance student success. Internal and external drivers are propelling this shift, with academic institutions adopting early warning systems to efficiently identify students at risk. At Keele,…

  • Following the money – Review of Paul Johnson’s latest book

    16 April 2024 by Nick Hillman

    HEPI Director, Nick Hillman, takes a look at the lessons in Paul Johnson’s book ‘Follow the Money: How Much Does Britain Cost?’ This is one of the best books I’ve read. That’s really saying something, given it is a book on fiscal policy – or government tax and spend. It…

  • Student Voices on AI: Navigating Expectations and Opportunities

    15 April 2024 by Isabelle Bristow

    This HEPI blog was authored by Isabelle Bristow, Managing Director UK and Europe at Studiosity, a HEPI Partner. Studiosity is a learning technology company, working with 100+ universities globally, serving 1.8 million university students across the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the Middle East. In order to better understand…

  • In praise of Dr Tony Bruce

    15 April 2024

    In this blog, HEPI brings together a number of memories of Dr Tony Bruce from those who knew him well and who worked alongside him. Nick Hillman (Director of HEPI) Last month (March 2024) came the devastating news that Dr Tony Bruce, who wrote HEPI’s termly Policy Briefing Paper for HEPI Partners,…

  • What keeps academic leaders and funders awake at night?

    12 April 2024

    What keeps global academic leaders and funders awake at night? A recent report from publishers Elsevier tried to find out. Based on interviews with 115 institutional leaders undertaken in partnership with the market research company Ipsos, it found the main worries were securing funding, maintaining educational and research excellence, demonstrating…

  • Graduate employer levy: A practical and political solution

    11 April 2024 by Johnny Rich

    It’s easy to criticise policies – such as the funding system for higher education in England. It’s far harder to offer something better that could be delivered in practice, given political and fiscal realities. HEPI’s latest report How should undergraduate degrees be funded? seeks to do just that. It has…

  • Navigating the Waves: Key Strategies for International Student Recruitment Success

    10 April 2024 by Vincenzo Raimo

    The landscape of international student recruitment in the UK has experienced a seismic shift from a period of unexpected prosperity post-Covid, to a challenging environment marked by political, financial, and societal changes. Universities that saw a surge in international enrolments due predominately to favourable external conditions and government policies are…