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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].

  • The Value of Higher Education in Developed Economies

    25 January 2024 by Vivienne Stern

    Just over a month ago, our Prime Minister, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak, made a statement in his speech to the Conservative party conference. He said that: “The false dream of 50 per cent of children going to university […] was one of the great mistakes of the last 30 years.”…

  • Is technology the ticket to bridging the £17bn gap in university income?

    24 January 2024 by Leo Hanna

    UK universities are set to lose more than £17bn in real income over the next four years as persistent inflation erodes the value of tuition fees, according to newly released research. Higher education software provider TechnologyOne modelled the total amount universities will lose to inflation each year up until 2026-27,…

  • The University of Hull’s approach to educational gain

    23 January 2024 by Becky Huxley-Binns, Graham Scott and Mike Ewen

    In a previous HEPI blog, it was reported in that “it appears that just five providers … received ‘outstanding’ ratings across all three features of educational gain: SO4 – a provider’s own articulation of the gains it intends its students to achieve, SO5 – its approach to supporting these educational…

  • Period Poverty in UK Higher Education: Addressing Stigma and Empowering Students

    22 January 2024 by Laura Coryton

    Period poverty is a term that refers to the inability of individuals to access menstrual products, due to financial constraints, limited availability or stigma preventing them from seeking the essential products they need. This issue affects millions of people worldwide, including 36% of UK students. A lack of accessible menstrual…

  • The Warwick Perspective on ‘Core Skills’

    19 January 2024 by Pat Tissington and Pat Mertova

    The Skills Gap (the mismatch or gap between the skills required in current vacancies and skills possessed by people looking for work) and the Skills Shortage have become part of the everyday narrative in UK politics driven by employment data and unfilled vacancy data that show large numbers of unfilled…

  • Confronting higher education’s class divide

    18 January 2024 by Lee Elliot Major

    Me and my mate Dave in 1987. I like to think my beret has a hint of Che Guevara about it. But others think Curiosity Killed the Cat, a band whose lead singer, Ben Volpeliere, wore a similar-looking cap. For a fleeting moment during the 1980s hats (and hooped earrings…

  • It’s time for maintenance support to catch up with inflation

    17 January 2024 by Tom Allingham

    Inflation has affected all corners of society to some degree. But few groups have been hit quite as hard as students – a demographic that, for the second year in a row, has seen its living costs rise at well above the national average rate of inflation. This is to…

  • Women STEM students up to twice as likely as non-STEM students to have experienced sexism

    16 January 2024 by Emily MacLeod and Louise Archer

    We know that women students and staff remain underrepresented in Higher Education STEM disciplines. Even in subjects where equivalent numbers of men and women participate, however, many women are still disadvantaged by everyday sexism. Our recent research found that women who study STEM subjects at undergraduate level in England were…

  • Why fintech, and how is political science useful for a fintech job?

    15 January 2024 by Daniel Dipper

    What is the connection between political science and project management? How could a degree in History and Politics be so useful in financial technology? And how did I end up in fintech? Humanities and social sciences degrees have come under attack for their lack of utility, seemingly not useful in…