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


  • Where should HE reside in Whitehall?

    14 July 2016

    Back in 2014, aeons ago in political terms, I wrote a piece for Insight, the magazine of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, on whether or not responsibility for higher education policymaking should be plonked back in the Department for Education. Given the strong rumours of the demise of the current…

  • HEPI author Scott Kelly responds to the new Sainsbury review on Technical Education

    8 July 2016 by Scott Kelly

    The publication of the Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education, chaired by Lord Sainsbury (published today), is hardly likely to receive anything like the attention given to the Chilcot report but it nevertheless shines an equally bright light on systemic failures in a vital area of public policy.…

  • What would PM May mean for HE?

    30 June 2016

    In today’s copy of The Times, Theresa May has an article launching her bid to become Conservative Party Leader and therefore Prime Minister. The piece ticks as many boxes as possible for the two electorates she has to satisfy: first, her 329 fellow Conservative Members of Parliament; and, secondly, the…

  • More bureaucracy please?

    29 June 2016

    This guest blog has been kindly contributed by Professor Graham Galbraith, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth. It is a timely reminder that higher education reform is likely to continue, despite the upheavals in the wider political landscape, and recommends some specific changes to the new Teaching Excellence Framework to reduce…

  • Challenger institutions: A response to the Alternative White Paper

    23 June 2016 by Gordon Sweeney

    This guest blog has been contributed by Gordon Sweeney, who is Head of Education at Point Blank Music School ( In mid-June, a group of academics published an Alternative White Paper outlining their vision for the future of higher education. Unfortunately, the Alternative White Paper included various misconceptions about alternative…

  • Let’s not forget about international students

    21 June 2016

    Centre Write is, as its name suggests, the magazine of a centre-right think-tank called Bright Blue, which is headed up by Ryan Shorthouse. Its new edition – out this week – is timely, given this week’s vote, as it focuses on migration. There are too many interesting articles to list…

  • New ways of learning

    27 May 2016 by Neil Morris

    This guest blog has been kindly provided by Professor Neil Morris, who is the Director of Digital Learning at the University of Leeds. An A-level student seeking to get a head start on their UCAS application. A current undergraduate wanting to study a specific topic with a leading academic at a different university.…

  • After the furore: Reviewing our own work on boys’ underachievement

    25 May 2016

    Our recent report on the underachievement of boys in higher education, Boys to Men, has received many plaudits and some brickbats. That was always likely, given the sensitivity of the topic. (Still, it was an improvement on the last time HEPI raised the problem, when – as I have written…

  • When ten into two doesn’t go?

    18 May 2016

    In many ways, the biggest shift from the recent past in the new higher education green paper is the redrawing of the research landscape (as I originally noted in a Times Higher blog). The white paper says: ‘There are currently ten arms’-length Government bodies operating in the higher education and…