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


In recent years, HEPI has produced over 20 reports a year. They are all available free of charge here on our website and all our longer reports are also available in hard copy from the HEPI office.

The version on the website should be regarded as the version of record.

  • Cracks in our foundations: Evaluating foundation years as a tool for access and success

    7 March 2024

    Short, preparatory ‘foundation year’ courses have exploded in popularity in recent years, but they have drawn criticism from policymakers. Like Access diplomas, they serve to support people from all backgrounds to enter higher education. This HEPI Report asks whether foundation years are effective tools for widening access – or whether,…

  • The lives of early career researchers

    29 February 2024

    In 2023, the British Academy commissioned 11 members of its Early Career Researcher Network to write about their experiences of life and work in UK higher education. The essay collection shines a light on the voices, perspectives and journeys of early career researchers, poignantly showcasing the realities and challenges faced…

  • What is wrong with franchise provision?

    22 February 2024 by Professor Nick Braisby, Ian Harper and Professor Damien Page

    Franchised provision of higher education has been under the spotlight in recent times. Without shying away from the challenges faced by those delivering successful franchise arrangements, this paper shows how important franchising can be in extending access to higher education. The authors explain what protections need to be in place…

  • Student Accommodation: The State of the Nation in 2024

    15 February 2024 by Martin Blakey

    In a new paper from the Higher Education Policy Institute, Student Accommodation: The State of the Nation in 2024, Martin Blakey, the former Chief Executive of the Leeds-based student housing charity Unipol, explains the changes in the student accommodation market that have led to higher rents. Following the recent announcement that…

  • Provide or punish? Students’ views on generative AI in higher education

    1 February 2024 by Josh Freeman

    This new Policy Note by HEPI and Kortext explores students’ attitudes to AI. Based on a poll of 1,250 students through UCAS, we build a picture of the way students use and view generative AI technologies like ChatGPT and Google Bard. We find that the use of generative AI has…

  • Regional research capacity: what role in levelling up?

    18 January 2024 by Jonathan Adams, Jonathan Grant, David Smith and Martin Szomszor

    This report compares the UK’s policies intended to ‘level up’ the research and innovation capacity of regions with those in Germany after unification as well as in the US. The report concludes that investment has been too small and poorly linked to boosting research capacity. The report also confirms there…

  • University of Northampton: Waterside Story

    4 January 2024 by Nick Petford, Robert Griggs and Terry Neville

    In this HEPI Report, Nick Petford, Robert Griggs and Terry Neville explore the rationale and development of the University of Northampton’s Waterside Campus, one of the UK’s most ambitious university relocation projects. They conclude with a series of lessons learned.

  • Connecting the Dots – The Need for an Effective Skills System in England

    23 November 2023 by Professor David Phoenix

    The lack of a strategic framework for post-16 education provision, combined with a confusing regulatory regime, is resulting in an incoherent and difficult to navigate offer for learners of all ages, as well as employers. In this HEPI report, Professor David Phoenix emphasises that to meet England’s ever more pressing…