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


  • Living Black at University: A call to action

    3 February 2022 by Jenny Shaw

    This blog was contributed by Jenny Shaw, Higher External Education Engagement Director at Unite Students. So much of student life is shaped by the experience of being in student accommodation. Living in a student community, making new friends, meeting people from different backgrounds, managing day-to-day life independently are all learning…

  • New report finds ‘first-in-family’ status flawed as a way of helping disadvantaged students

    6 January 2022 by Harriet Coombs

    The Higher Education Policy Institute’s latest report, First-in-Family Students by Harriet Coombs (HEPI Report 146), finds most university students in the UK – just over two-thirds – can be classified ‘first-in-family’. It questions how useful the category is as an indicator for widening participation activities. The paper argues too much weight has…

  • One Nation University: Spreading opportunity, reducing division and building community

    9 December 2021 by Richard Brabner

    In a new Debate Paper from the Higher Education Policy Institute, Richard Brabner, Director of the UPP Foundation, says universities and the Government should adopt the famous political idea of One Nation to reshape universities in England. Writing in a personal capacity, Brabner says criticism of recent higher education expansion…

  • University strikes reveal uncertainty over who owns online lectures 

    30 November 2021 by Dr Alexis Brown

    As universities gear up for a new round of strikes, taking place from 1 December to 3 December 2021, they may wish to reuse online teaching materials recorded during the pandemic to limit the impact on students.  But a new report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) reveals confusion over…

  • HEPI comment on the Budget and Spending Review

    27 October 2021 by Nick Hillman

    Nick Hillman, the Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said: The slowdown in planned public spending on research and development is disappointing. Unlike other areas of government spending, when it comes to research, public funding “crowds in” rather than “crowds out” private funding. So the road towards the long-standing…

  • Expect the unexpected? Six things to look out for in the Spending Review

    25 October 2021 by Nick Hillman

    HEPI Director, Nick Hillman, looks forward to this week’s Spending Review. If you made me bet hard cash, I would say it currently seems unlikely that anything positive to do with higher education and research will make up the main story coming out of this week’s Spending Review. On research…

  • New report says R&D spending should focus on the regions as part of ‘levelling up’

    21 October 2021

    Catching the wave: harnessing regional research and development to level up (HEPI Report 144) by Professor Mary Stuart and Liz Shutt shows how university research and innovation activities can play a major part in developing regional economies. The authors argue for encouraging engagement between universities and local employers and their…