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


  • Universities are key to levelling up: scrap year one fees for first in family students and redirect research funding to left behind regions

    27 February 2020 by Rachel Hewitt

    A new report from the Higher Education Policy Institute, Making Universities Matter: How higher education can help to heal a divided Britain (HEPI Report 125), is calling for fundamental change to ensure universities meet the priorities of their communities and help the Government bridge social, economic and regional divides.  Building on the…

  • Students with few or no helpful teachers are 146% more likely to report a high level of dissatisfaction with life

    13 February 2020

    Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University, has applied sophisticated statistical techniques to the most recent HEPI / Advance HE Student Academic Experience Survey results in order to see which factors most affect student wellbeing. The key findings in What affects student wellbeing? (HEPI Policy Note 21) include: a relationship between ethnic identity and dissatisfaction…

  • The Future of Higher Education and the Implications for Students

    11 February 2020 by Nick Hillman

    Last night, I was honoured to be able to deliver the annual Drapers’ Lecture at Queen Mary, University of London. Among the issues covered by the lecture are: fees and funding; access; Augar; student numbers; international students; Brexit; edtech; part-time students; and research funding. Introduction Thank you for inviting me…

  • Why we must listen to the voices of part-time students

    6 February 2020

    A new paper from the Higher Education Policy Institute, Unheard: the voices of part-time adult learners (HEPI Report 124) by Dr John Butcher of the Open University, considers the sharp decline in part-time learning through the voices of students. Between 2011/12 and 2017/18, there was a 60% fall in the number of…

  • Action needed to avert the growing crisis in language learning

    9 January 2020

    The Higher Education Policy Institute’s latest report, A Languages Crisis? (HEPI Report 123) by Megan Bowler, highlights a huge drop in demand for learning languages and makes a set of recommendations for reversing the fall. The paper shows only 32 per cent of 15-to-30 year olds from the UK can read and…

  • It could take a century to hit the latest official university access targets

    12 December 2019

    The Higher Education Policy Institute has published a new report on access to higher education which shows that, at the current rate of progress, it will take 96 years to hit the Office for Students’s targets for access to highly-selective universities. Social mobility and elite universities (HEPI Policy Note 20)…

  • New polling shows students need clarity on how universities use their data

    5 December 2019 by Rachel Hewitt and Michael Natzler

    The Higher Education Policy Institute has published new research about students’ views on data security, Students or data subjects? What students think about university data security.  The survey of over 1,000 full-time undergraduate students, undertaken for HEPI and Tribal, who have sponsored the report, by the polling company YouthSight, shows: Only…

  • HEPI Election Briefing: How and why this election matters for students, staff and higher education institutions

    20 November 2019

    The Higher Education Policy Institute ( has issued an Election Briefing document, which discusses and summarises five higher education issues that are linked to the 2019 general election. They are: Student voters; Undergraduate fees and funding; Participation and access; Research and development; and Internationalisation. The Policy Note takes a look at some…

  • Why do so many UK students live away from home and why does it matter?

    14 November 2019

    A new report from the Higher Education Policy Institute and the University Partnerships Programme (UPP), Somewhere to live: Why British students study away from home – and why it matters by Professor William Whyte, looks at why so many students choose to live away from home. The paper considers the Medieval…