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

Blog

  • Will prestige issues disrupt the Teaching Excellence Framework?

    8 September 2016 by Nick Hillman

    There are some universities that are excellent at research and others that are excellent at teaching. There are some that are excellent at both, where insights from new research brighten the lectures and vice versa. But the incentives for universities have been out of balance, with good research favoured over…

  • New HEPI discussion paper argues for changes to the Teaching Excellence Framework

    8 September 2016

    A new paper by the Higher Education Policy Institute considers the most controversial aspects of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and proposes substantial changes to make sure it works. Tackling Wicked Issues: Prestige and Employment Outcomes in the Teaching Excellence Framework (Occasional Paper 14) includes two essays, written by…

  • Debt, deficit and student loans

    6 September 2016

    Hundreds of people (472 at 10.15am) have already responded to my new piece in the Guardian arguing against Owen Smith’s support for a graduate tax. It is not meant to be controversial but I didn’t expect everyone to agree with it, and it has definitely got some people’s goat. A small…

  • The last time a Conservative Government set higher education targets

    1 September 2016 by Nick Hillman

    We recently made available on this site an important but hard-to-find historical text: Tony Crosland’s famous speech cementing the binary division between polytechnics and universities, which was delivered in 1965. Another speech that is incredibly important in British higher education policymaking but similarly hard to obtain is Ken Baker’s speech at Lancaster University…

  • Polytechnics or universities?

    15 August 2016 by Nick Hillman

    August seems as good a time as any to put up something we have been meaning to post for a while: the text of Anthony Crosland’s Woolwich Polytechnic speech of 27th April 1965. It is incredibly important in higher education policymaking, as it announced the binary system of polytechnics and universities…

  • Forget grammar schools, what about comprehensive universities?

    9 August 2016 by Nick Hillman

    The perennial row over grammar schools flared up again last weekend. Possibly, just possibly, the new Prime Minister is not as opposed to new grammar schools, which select pupils on academic ability, as her recent predecessors. The debate over grammar schools feels endless and circular but is perhaps best articulated…

  • New Zealand: A small far away country from which we can learn much?

    2 August 2016 by Sam Cannicott

    This guest blog has been contributed by Sam Cannicott, who has been the Education Policy Adviser for the Liberal Democrats (2007-2010) and a Policy and Strategy Adviser at Regent’s University London (2012-15) and who now lives and works in New Zealand. New Zealand has a population of under 4.5 million and only eight universities. …

  • Why the MoneySavingExpert is wrong

    28 July 2016 by Nick Hillman

    Martin Lewis, the founder of the MoneySavingExpert, is on the warpath. He is furious that the student loan repayment threshold is being fixed at £21,000. This means the terms on which student loans were taken out by today’s students have been retrospectively changed: previously it was said the threshold would…

  • The first ever Higher Education Festival is coming this September

    27 July 2016 by Sir Anthony Seldon

    Guest blog by Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham What does the future hold for universities? The University of Buckingham is hosting the UK’s first Higher Education Festival covering all issues facing the sector. The Universities Minister Jo Johnson, the Shadow Higher Education Minister Gordon Marsden, the…

  • Will the new higher education topography prove sustainable?

    25 July 2016

    This blog is an extract from a speech the HEPI Director, Nick Hillman, delivered at the University of Buckingham on 25th July 2016. New entrants In the UK, it has been phenomenally difficult to get good quality independent higher education institutions off the ground but simultaneously too easy to run ones of questionable quality.…