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


  • The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and student numbers

    13 July 2015

    It is said that replacing maintenance grants with bigger loans could lead to fewer undergraduates. That may prove a rash assumption. Against consensus opinion, the tripling of tuition fee loans to £3,000 in 2006 and again to £9,000 in 2012 made little difference to the behaviour of young full-time applicants.…

  • Alternative providers … or challenger institutions?

    10 July 2015

    Today’s Productivity paper from HM Treasury provides yet more evidence, if any were needed, that the Conservative-majority Government is doing things differently to the Conservative-led Coalition. The 2010 to 2015 Government made one early decision that transformed the finances of some alternative higher education providers (known as APs) when allowing their…

  • Come and join the HEPI team (Oxford based)

    9 June 2015

    As regular readers of this website know, HEPI is the UK’s only specialist think tank on higher education. We have a lively programme of events and publications, which are masterminded from our office in north Oxford. We have a small central team and are now looking to recruit a new…

  • Should doctors and engineers pay higher fees than arts students?

    29 May 2015 by Nicholas Robinson

    This is the third in a series of pieces by HEPI visiting researcher Nicholas Robinson comparing the UK and Australian higher education systems. The first two on maintenance support and part-time students can be found here and here. The dust has finally settled on the debate over the tuition fee…

  • Part-time students deserve more than part-time policy

    26 May 2015 by Nicholas Robinson

    This piece by Nicholas Robinson, a researcher at HEPI who grew up and went to university in Australia, is the second in a series comparing the UK and Australian higher education systems. The first covered student maintenance and was published in Times Higher Education on May 7 2015. The number…

  • How will BIS tackle the HE funding challenge?

    14 May 2015

    Below is a short extract from a speech that Nick Hillman, HEPI Director, made earlier today to a Higher Education Academy meeting of Pro-Vice Chancellors for teaching and learning. No political party promised to protect the budget of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in the lengthy general…

  • Higher education, Labour and the 2015 general election

    5 May 2015

    The clearest higher education policy of this election campaign is Labour’s commitment to reduce the full-time undergraduate tuition fee cap from £9,000 to £6,000 and to raise the maximum maintenance grant by £400 a year alongside. It is a clear pitch to students (and their parents). Polling among students suggests it…