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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].

  • Australia…and North Korea?

    26 April 2014 by Nick Hillman

    Having travelled a lot over the last few weeks, I’ve been musing on HE in other countries. Perhaps nowhere are the differences so stark as in two of the countries I’ve visited: Australia and North Korea. In 2012, Australia removed student number controls for undergraduate places at public universities. With…

  • Getting some HELP from Australia

    24 April 2014 by Libby Hackett

    As Chief Executive of University Alliance I am often asked to talk about the value of higher education, why we need more graduates in the economy and the need for smart investment in teaching and research. But I don’t always get to look at the detail of how this funding…

  • Should the police be allowed on university campuses?

    21 April 2014

    Earlier this month, the NUS annual conference took place in Liverpool. Toni Pearce, the NUS’s formidable President, was comfortably re-elected. It’s 15 years since I was a delegate at the NUS conference. It was in Blackpool, rather lively (£1,000 tuition fees had just been introduced) and a Robbie Williams impersonator…

  • Les Ebdon blogs for Hepi on the National Strategy for Access and Student Success

    4 April 2014

    The national strategy for access and student success By Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education I’m delighted that the Government has now published the national strategy for access and student success which OFFA and HEFCE developed at its behest. It’s an ambitious strategy that makes wide-ranging…

  • Finishing Unfinished Business

    3 April 2014

    With thanks to Julian Gravatt, Assistant Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, who is our second guest blogger. In Unfinished business, Nick Hillman makes the case for a higher education bill and identifies some priorities. He suggests action is needed to control new student loans properly, secure fairer competition between established…

  • Assessing Robbins Rebooted

    1 April 2014

    ‘Robbins Rebooted’ is a good title for Liam Byrne’s first really important speech on higher education. It is consciously based on a pamphlet written last year by David Willetts (to which I contributed, to declare an interest). The Robbins report has gradually come to play the role the Beveridge report…

  • How Hefce can help predict the degree class of Will from The Inbetweeners

    28 March 2014 by Nick Hillman

    The Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) have published new research on degree performance according to the backgrounds of students. It is incredibly important research and shows, for example: large gaps in the performance of students from different ethnicities – almost three-quarters of white students with BBB in their…

  • A baker’s dozen on the RAB

    27 March 2014 by Nick Hillman

    There has been fervent debate about the Resource Accounting and Budgeting charge, known as the RAB charge, in recent days. I was even invited to speak about this rather technical concept on the Radio 4 Today programme last Saturday. It is all because the Government has just increased the figure…