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


  • Most universities are charities: so what?

    7 June 2023 by Mary Synge

    On the website of nearly every university, you will find an explanation that the institution is a charity. But what does this mean, apart from generous tax advantages? And why are universities not generally talked about as charities, in the same way as, say, Oxfam or Macmillan Cancer Support? One…

  • Cultivating controversy … with civility

    6 June 2023 by Nyika Suttie

    This HEPI blog was kindly authored by Nyika Suttie, Culture and Inclusion Training Officer at the University of Bath. Much has been made of the Free Speech Act gaining Royal Assent. Meanwhile, institutions such as King’s College London (KCL) and organisations such as HEPI and WonkHE have been asking the…

  • Paper Belt On Fire – a review

    5 June 2023 by Lucy Haire

    This book review of Paper Belt On Fire by Michael Gibson was authored by Lucy Haire, HEPI’s Director of Partnerships. If you work in or with universities and colleges, it’s easy to take for granted their raison d’etre. When books and articles are published that are critical of higher education institutions,…

  • So, you think diversity matters? Do something about it!

    2 June 2023 by Professor Ken Sloan

    I welcome the recent paper by Edward Venning Size is Everything: What Small, Specialist and Practice Based Providers tell us about the Higher Education Sector (HEPI Report 160). It helpfully reignites a debate about what the shape and nature of the UK’s higher education sector looks like, and – perhaps somewhat worryingly – suggests what it…

  • How will technology change education in the future?

    31 May 2023 by Nick Hillman

    There is a long history of people getting their predictions about the future of technology, including the future of technology in education, wrong. Famously, after the Second World War IBM’s President said, ‘I think there is a world market for about five computers.’ Just ten years ago, in the words…

  • Selecting, Studying and Staying in Higher Education: A Utility Equation?

    30 May 2023 by Dr John Cater

    A Utility Equation is a mathematical construct, a formula doubtless known to Rishi Sunak and all who followed the discipline to Level 3 at 18.   The construct is grounded in microeconomics, an abstract value you gain from a preference, the satisfaction you gain from a selection.  But the author can find…

  • Why UK universities should maintain Chinese collaborations, despite the headwinds

    26 May 2023 by Professor Wendy Alexander

    I was recently back in China. My last trip to Wuhan in January 2020, where Dundee has a joint programme in Architecture, was against the backdrop of the pandemic taking hold. Three years on there was much to repair for a generation of transnational education (TNE) students whose education had been…