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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].

  • Higher education, Labour and the 2015 general election

    5 May 2015

    The clearest higher education policy of this election campaign is Labour’s commitment to reduce the full-time undergraduate tuition fee cap from £9,000 to £6,000 and to raise the maximum maintenance grant by £400 a year alongside. It is a clear pitch to students (and their parents). Polling among students suggests it…

  • The higher education general election policy Wall of Shame [UPDATED]

    23 April 2015

    It seems the predictions that higher education will not play a major part in the 2015 general election campaign (made by HEPI and others) are coming true. New research by Loughborough University shows higher education has so far made up just 0.3 per cent of general election policy discussions. This…

  • Let’s hear it for the specialists

    31 March 2015

    We are privileged to have some civil servants who spend years on the same policy area, drilling down into the detail so that they know it like no other. Dodging the civil service’s tendency to churn people around in the hope they’ll become a ‘generalist’, these people become true experts…

  • Why are PhD posters a thing?

    24 March 2015 by Nick Hillman

    There is a trend afoot, encouraged by the funders of research, to ask PhD students and other academic researchers to design posters explaining their work. The aim, I think, is to provide an accessible means of explaining (often unfinished) academic work. It’s a nice idea, but many of the posters end…

  • What do the ‘Young People’s Party’ promise students?

    14 March 2015 by Nick Hillman

    We are keeping a roving eye on the higher education policies of the smaller political parties as the 2015 general election approaches. We have already covered what Ukip is promising on this blog and the Green Party’s higher education policies have been usefully covered in some detail by Wonkhe. One very small party…

  • How to get students registered to vote – and why it matters by Paul Blomfield MP

    11 March 2015

    Hepi is delighted to host this guest blog by the (Labour) MP for Sheffield Central – the constituency that has the highest proportion of students and one of the smallest majorities (165) in the House of Commons. Paul Blomfield is Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Students, Secretary of the All-Party…

  • Tomorrow is International Women’s Day: how do women fare in HE leadership?

    7 March 2015 by Nick Hillman

    Women are woefully under-represented in UK national life, including in the leadership of our higher education institutions. For example, while there are some outstanding female Vice-Chancellors, they remain the exception rather than the norm. Arguably, the imbalance starts at the very top as the last few people with responsibility for…