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  • 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…

  • Les Ebdon responds to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s State of the Nation report

    21 October 2014 by Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access

    The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s annual state of the nation report is making headlines today following its stark warning that we’re in danger of becoming a permanently divided nation. Clearly, at the time of writing, we haven’t yet been able to read the full 338-page report or study its recommendations in detail. However, looking…

  • Ukip on international students

    18 October 2014 by Nick Hillman

    As I have written on here before, I am asked surprisingly often what Ukip’s higher education policies are. Those working in universities in areas where there is a substantial Ukip presence and / or elected Ukip councillors are especially keen to know. I never have a very good answer. But, earlier this…

  • Why are politicians so keen on open access?

    3 October 2014 by Nick Hillman

    People sometimes speculate on why policymakers, including elected politicians, are so keen on open access (i.e. giving people free access to the output of researchers – especially taxpayer-funded research), which has made enormous strides in recent years. It may seem obvious to some readers of this blog, although there are various different potential reasons, such as a desire…

  • How will the ending of student number controls affect higher vocational education?

    22 September 2014 by Nick Hillman

    HEPI’s most recent blue book, A guide to the removal of student number controls, secured extensive interest (and media coverage) last week. It seeks to bring together what we know about the policy, and also highlights some of the issues that still need to be resolved. I am taking this opportunity to post another piece on…

  • When 30,000 = 15,000 and 60,000 = 45,000

    10 September 2014

    Greg Clark, the new Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, has just delivered his first major speech on higher education to the Universities UK Annual Conference at Leeds University. It was a full account of recent successes by the sector and a defence of recent higher education reforms. It did…

  • Thoughts on ‘Robbins Rebooted’ by Liam Byrne

    28 August 2014 by Nick Hillman

    When John Denham delivered his speech on higher education to the RSA in January 2014, we described it as ‘the most interesting set of ideas on higher education from any Labour politician since the last election.’ That accolade must now be shifted to the new pamphlet, Robbins Rebooted, by Liam…

  • A-Level results day – a few thoughts on what to look out for

    14 August 2014

    Good luck to everyone getting their A-Level results today – and, remember, if you haven’t got the results you hoped for, there is lots of information available and there are other opportunities out there. This is a big year in terms of university entrance because the Government is starting to roll…

  • Why universities should not buy their loan books – Guest Blog by Alasdair Smith

    5 August 2014

    David Willetts’s recent suggestion that universities might buy the loan books of their own students has generated some ill-considered reaction, so Nick Hillman’s comments are valuable. Nick points out first that there is no necessary link with any selective increase in the fees cap. And, given that much of the…