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


  • You want impact? Write for HEPI

    1 February 2019 by Nick Hillman

    Before Christmas, I tweeted that anyone who wants to write for HEPI should get in touch. >Have you got strong views on higher education?>Can you write in plain English?>Do you want to have an impact on policymakers? By the end of 2018, we will have published more papers than in…

  • Where next for admissions: soft PQA or hard clearing?

    31 January 2019 by Chris Ramsey

    A guest blog kindly contributed by Chris Ramsey, Headmaster of Whitgift School and chair of the Universities committee at HMC, a professional body for Headmasters and Headmistresses of Independent Schools. Whenever you review something big  – a school curriculum or an admissions philosophy, or an Irish border – you always…

  • Is UCAS fit for purpose?

    30 January 2019 by Dean Machin

    This guest blog has been kindly contributed by Dean Machin, who is the Strategic Policy Adviser at the University of Portsmouth. In 2015, he wrote a report for the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission on data-sharing entitled ‘Data and public policy: trying to make social progress blindfolded’. Tomorrow, UCAS…

  • New data show complexities around casualisation

    29 January 2019

    Last week, the first look at the annual data collected on staff at UK universities was published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). As well as the usual information on the profile of staff, new statistics are available on staff who are on zero-hour contracts and those who are hourly-paid,…

  • Lecture from America

    17 January 2019 by Peter Ainsworth

    A guest blog kindly contributed by Peter Ainsworth, Managing Director of Equimatrix, and author of Universities Challenged: Funding Higher Education through a Free-Market ‘Graduate Tax’ published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. 2019 appears set to be a defining year for the Higher Education sector. After years of plenty following…

  • 1 school exam grade in 4 is wrong. Does this matter?

    15 January 2019 by Dennis Sherwood

    A guest blog kindly contributed by Dennis Sherwood, who runs the Silver Bullet Machine consultancy. Last August, 811,776 A level and 5,470,076 GCSE grades were awarded to candidates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. What happened next was sometimes jubilation (“B in history! Fantastic! I’m in!”); sometimes despair (a 3 in GCSE maths can close many doors).…

  • Book review: Social Mobility And Its Enemies

    9 January 2019 by Anand Shukla

    This book review has been kindly written for HEPI by Anand Shukla, Chief Executive of the online mentoring charity Brightside The importance of social mobility is a rare area of policy consensus between the main UK political parties. Given the decline of intergenerational social mobility in the last 50 years, it…

  • HEPI Blog on Onward report – A Question of Degree

    8 January 2019 by Jonathan Woodhead

    A guest blog kindly contributed by  Jonathan Woodhead, Policy Adviser at Birkbeck, University of London The launch of Onward’s contribution to the higher education debate today with their report A Question of Degree is certainly an interesting one. While I personally look forward to reading more of Onward’s work in…