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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].

  • Creating Robust Safeguarding Policies to Enhance the Student Experience

    26 February 2024 by Rose Stephenson

    Before I worked at HEPI, I worked at the University of Bath, developing organisational policy – so I have a particular interest in how national policy and regulation translates into action, on the ground, in higher education providers. I’m speaking this morning about developing robust safeguarding policies to enhance the…

  • The staff-student relationship register

    23 February 2024 by Rose Stephenson

    Today is the 23 February 2024 – one year since the Office for Students (OfS) launched its consultation on ‘a new approach to regulating harassment and sexual misconduct in English higher education’. The consultation closed on 4 May 2023 and the OfS was aiming to publish a summary of responses…

  • Where next? A new dawn for the OfS (OfS over the horizon, part II)

    22 February 2024 by Derfel Owen and Ant Bagshaw

    Yesterday we focussed on the story so far for the OfS. It has been troubled, but the course can be corrected. Today we set out some steps that can be taken to find common ground and a create regulatory environment that is accepted by all but beholden to none. 1…

  • Quality in HE, an over-the-horizon look at OfS – part I

    21 February 2024 by Derfel Owen and Ant Bagshaw

    Public debate is focused on what might happen after the General Election. Change is in the air, and everyone wants a piece of it. Will higher education be high up the list for reform? Unlikely, with health, the economy, and global security in the top spots. The Office for Students’…

  • Institutional autonomy: does it need an ‘academic community’?

    16 February 2024 by Gill Evans

    The arrival of the ‘alternative provider’ In 1997 the Dearing Report saw diversity in British higher education institutions as an advantage ‘especially in providing for student choice; in programme and pedagogic innovation’ and ‘in the ability of the sector as a whole to meet the wide range of expectations now…

  • The contested rise of ‘institutional autonomy’

    15 February 2024 by Gill Evans

    The Higher Education and Research Act of 2017 (HERA) asserts that both the Secretary of State and the Office for Students ‘must have regard to the need to protect the institutional autonomy of English higher education providers’. HERA s. 8 defines this autonomy in terms which have been accepted since they…