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


  • National Audit Office on alternative providers

    2 December 2014

    The National Audit Office have today published the Investigation into financial support for students at alternative higher education providers. It is interesting and timely.* It includes challenges for BIS, HE regulators and alternative providers. And it contains some useful new evidence, including examples of the adverts used to entice people on to courses.…

  • Too good to fail by Ruth Thompson

    26 November 2014

    In this guest blog, Ruth Thompson, co-chair of the Higher Education Commission’s recent inquiry into financial sustainability (and a member of the Hepi Advisory Board), discusses the group’s recent work. On 24 November the Higher Education Commission launched the report of its latest inquiry, into the financial sustainability of English HE.…

  • Student loans: BIS Select Committee versus the Government

    16 November 2014 by Nick Hillman

    Ten days ago, the Government’s response to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s report on Student Loans was published. It received some press coverage at the time, for example from Times Higher Education, the BBC and the Guardian. They all rightly focussed on the Government’s refusal to accept Recommendation 11, which called ‘for an urgent…

  • The autumn statement, the Treasury and postgraduate funding

    10 November 2014 by Nick Hillman

    The Director of Hepi, Nick Hillman, discusses some of the issues around postgraduate funding that are under discussion in the Treasury. As the UK’s only specialist think tank on higher education, Hepi keeps a close eye on the higher education work undertaken by the generalist think tanks of the left…

  • Pros and cons of the IEA’s new student funding proposal

    25 October 2014 by Nick Hillman

    In this blog post, the Director of HEPI, Nick Hillman, takes a first look at some new proposals on student funding from the Institute of Economic Affairs. On 23rd October, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) published Universities Challenged: Funding Higher Education through a Free-Market ‘Graduate Tax’ by Peter Ainsworth. It’s good to…

  • Martyn Harrow (Jisc): We must not lose the benefits of shared infrastructure

    23 October 2014

    With today’s publication of his HEPI Occasional Paper, Martyn Harrow, the Chief Executive of Jisc, makes the case for universities continuing to share the costs of joint investment in technology infrastructure. The last few years have not been easy for UK universities. They have had to deal simultaneously with policy…

  • Les Ebdon responds to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s State of the Nation report

    21 October 2014 by Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access

    The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s annual state of the nation report is making headlines today following its stark warning that we’re in danger of becoming a permanently divided nation. Clearly, at the time of writing, we haven’t yet been able to read the full 338-page report or study its recommendations in detail. However, looking…

  • Ukip on international students

    18 October 2014 by Nick Hillman

    As I have written on here before, I am asked surprisingly often what Ukip’s higher education policies are. Those working in universities in areas where there is a substantial Ukip presence and / or elected Ukip councillors are especially keen to know. I never have a very good answer. But, earlier this…

  • Why are politicians so keen on open access?

    3 October 2014 by Nick Hillman

    People sometimes speculate on why policymakers, including elected politicians, are so keen on open access (i.e. giving people free access to the output of researchers – especially taxpayer-funded research), which has made enormous strides in recent years. It may seem obvious to some readers of this blog, although there are various different potential reasons, such as a desire…