Skip to content
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].

  • Cry Freedom: An Addendum

    15 May 2024 by James Tooley

    *** Next Tuesday 21st May, we are hosting a webinar discussing non-continuation in UK universities, following the publication of a HEPI Policy Note on the issue. You can sign up to the webinar here. *** In Cry Freedom, published last week by University of Buckingham Press, I presented an argument…

  • How can we access the non-economic benefits of the Humanities?

    14 May 2024 by Annabel Dukes

    In current discussions of the value of humanities research, two concerns come across most strongly: the extent to which humanities research creates skills, and the extent to which humanities research is financially lucrative for individuals, the government and the economy. By contrast, the potential for humanities research knowledge to contribute…

  • Maintaining quality through the cost-of-living crisis

    13 May 2024 by Susi Peacock

    Published last week, HEPI’s report A Minimum Income Standard for Students highlighted the ‘bleak picture’ painted by the latest research on the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis, with more than a quarter of universities now hosting food banks, seven in ten students having considered giving up their studies in the…

  • Weekend reading: Dismantling the marketisation of higher education

    11 May 2024 by Chloe Field

    Higher education is not just broken right now: it is heading into an existential crisis. The current funding model is being shown to be completely unsustainable on an institutional level and on a personal level for students. Tuition fees are plunging hundreds of thousands of students a year into huge…

  • The Plateglass Universities, 60 years on

    10 May 2024 by James Fuller

    The Plateglass Universities, a phrase sanctified by its inclusion in Wikipedia, were founded in a time of optimism- the swinging sixties-of which they were themselves an emblem. Decades on, the durability of the Magnificent Seven, is shown by their tenancy, in the latest British University rankings by the Times Educational…

  • Mapping awarding gaps

    8 May 2024 by Kerr Castle

    *** We are hosting a webinar on student maintenance support next Thursday 9th May: you can sign up here. *** Published last month, a HEPI Policy Note on ‘Non-continuation of students in the UK’ observed that continuation rates differ according to such factors as ethnicity, disability, deprivation and free school meals status. Also last…

  • Placing research integrity at the heart of REF

    7 May 2024 by Rachael Gooberman-Hill, Nandini Das, Maria Delgado and Miles Padgett

    As Co-chair and members of the UK Committee on Research Integrity, we are here to support research integrity in the UK. Our role includes the articulation of views about areas where there are good reasons to focus on research integrity. One such area is research assessment, for which plans for…

  • Higher education to play an urgent role in tackling global challenges

    3 May 2024 by Fariba Soetan

    As 13 nations across the Commonwealth head to the ballot box this year, and families, parents and citizens consider their priorities for the ensuing decade, attention turns towards the global effort to tackle world challenges, outlined in the UN sustainable development goals and slated for achievement by 2030 and beyond.…

  • Universities: Guardians of ethical AI?

    1 May 2024 by Shadi Hijazi

    Businesses are hungry for AI-powered growth, students eagerly adopt new tools, and the ethical compass risks getting lost in the scramble. But in the midst of an artificial intelligence gold rush, can universities ensure everyone plays fair? AI is no longer a buzzword in lectures. Nearly 80% of students surveyed…