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


In recent years, HEPI has produced around 20 reports a year. They are all available free of charge here on our website and are generally also available in hard copy from the HEPI office. (The version on the website should be regarded as the version of record.)

  • Digging in? The changing tenure of UK vice-chancellors

    26 May 2022 by Nick Hillman

    The Higher Education Policy Institute (, with support from executive search firm GatenbySanderson, has published a new paper on the changing tenure of UK university vice-chancellors over the past half a century.

  • Holding Talent Back? What is next for the future of Level 3?

    28 April 2022

    In this collection, different experts from a range of backgrounds consider the current plan to defund many BTECs and other popular Level 3 Applied General qualifications. Together, the chapters argue this could close off a useful and proven route for students from a wide range of backgrounds, including for those…

  • Defining Quality

    17 March 2022

    A new Policy Note published by the Higher Education Policy Institute and written by the Chief Executive of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (, Vicki Stott, explores what quality means in UK higher education today. The publication marks the start of a year of activities to mark the…

  • Illicit drug use in universities: zero tolerance or harm reduction?

    3 March 2022

    In this HEPI Debate Paper, Arda Ozcubukcu and Professor Graham Towl explore how higher education institutions might approach illicit drug use within their student populations, suggesting that a zero-tolerance approach may cause more harm than it prevents as those who need help do not come forward for fear of punishment.…

  • What’s next for national security and research?

    17 February 2022 by Alexis Brown

    A new HEPI report, What’s next for national security and research? by Dr Alexis Brown (HEPI Report 147), reviews what measures are in place to protect UK research from foreign interference, including the new National Security and Investment Act (2021) that came into force on 4 January 2022.  It argues that, while…

  • Living Black at University

    3 February 2022

    Living Black at University is a major new report into Black students’ experience in UK student accommodation, commissioned by Unite Students and carried out by Halpin Partnership, with support from HEPI. The research explores the experiences of Black students across university accommodation and private halls of residence, amplifying their voices…

  • First-in-Family Students

    6 January 2022 by Harriet Coombs

    First-in-family students make up a majority of young first- degree students yet face a number of challenges. So they are now the focus of many specific interventions in the UK and the USA. This report looks at the pros and cons of using first-in-family as a key measure of disadvantage.…