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


  • The Public Accounts Committee, alternative providers and mission-group land

    15 December 2014

    The Public Accounts Committee hearing this afternoon on alternative providers of higher education was a bruising affair. Margaret Hodge was in the Chair and she and her cross-party members ferociously grilled the witnesses from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Student Loans Company, the Higher Education Funding Council…

  • Three key questions on postgraduate loans

    3 December 2014

    There are strong rumours that the Chancellor will announce a new system of postgraduate loans in his autumn statement today. This would tackle some access problems by making finance less of a barrier. It’s not clear if George Osborne will announce a fully worked-out scheme or (probably more likely) promise to consult on the details.…

  • National Audit Office on alternative providers

    2 December 2014

    The National Audit Office have today published the Investigation into financial support for students at alternative higher education providers. It is interesting and timely.* It includes challenges for BIS, HE regulators and alternative providers. And it contains some useful new evidence, including examples of the adverts used to entice people on to courses.…

  • Too good to fail by Ruth Thompson

    26 November 2014

    In this guest blog, Ruth Thompson, co-chair of the Higher Education Commission’s recent inquiry into financial sustainability (and a member of the Hepi Advisory Board), discusses the group’s recent work. On 24 November the Higher Education Commission launched the report of its latest inquiry, into the financial sustainability of English HE.…

  • Student loans: BIS Select Committee versus the Government

    16 November 2014 by Nick Hillman

    Ten days ago, the Government’s response to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s report on Student Loans was published. It received some press coverage at the time, for example from Times Higher Education, the BBC and the Guardian. They all rightly focussed on the Government’s refusal to accept Recommendation 11, which called ‘for an urgent…

  • The autumn statement, the Treasury and postgraduate funding

    10 November 2014 by Nick Hillman

    The Director of Hepi, Nick Hillman, discusses some of the issues around postgraduate funding that are under discussion in the Treasury. As the UK’s only specialist think tank on higher education, Hepi keeps a close eye on the higher education work undertaken by the generalist think tanks of the left…

  • Different degree outcomes by background and the complicated issue of HE finance

    4 November 2014

    On Tuesday, 4th November 2014, the Director of HEPI, Nick Hillman, took part in a panel discussion at the Nuffield Foundation on recent higher education research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. An extract from his remarks is below. Thank you for inviting me. I head up the Higher Education…

  • Pros and cons of the IEA’s new student funding proposal

    25 October 2014 by Nick Hillman

    In this blog post, the Director of HEPI, Nick Hillman, takes a first look at some new proposals on student funding from the Institute of Economic Affairs. On 23rd October, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) published Universities Challenged: Funding Higher Education through a Free-Market ‘Graduate Tax’ by Peter Ainsworth. It’s good to…

  • Martyn Harrow (Jisc): We must not lose the benefits of shared infrastructure

    23 October 2014

    With today’s publication of his HEPI Occasional Paper, Martyn Harrow, the Chief Executive of Jisc, makes the case for universities continuing to share the costs of joint investment in technology infrastructure. The last few years have not been easy for UK universities. They have had to deal simultaneously with policy…