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


HEPI aims to produce around a dozen pieces of high quality research and analysis each year – all reports are available free of charge here on our website and are generally also available in hard copy from the HEPI office.

  • Where do student fees really go? Following the pound

    22 November 2018 by Nick Hillman, Jim Dickinson, Alice Rubbra and Zach Klamann

    Three-quarters of students want more information about where their fees go. They have been promised this information for many years but it has been slow to arrive in accessible forms. Now the Office for Students, which has a statutory duty to ensure students receive value for money, is making it…

  • Targeted Tuition Fees: Is means-testing the answer?

    20 September 2018 by Alex Usher and Robert Burroughs

    This HEPI report focuses on international higher education financing, discussing the concept of ‘targeted free tuition’ – the idea that, while tuition fees backed by income-contingent loans can improve access, they still do not do enough to help people from the very poorest households, who are typically the most debt…

  • David versus Goliath: The past, present and future of students’ unions in the UK

    6 September 2018 by Jim Dickinson and Mike Day

    In this report, Mike Day and Jim Dickinson look at the past, present and future of student unions. Although almost every university has a students’ union, there is little research or reliable data on their form, role or successes. They are often seen and judged through a ‘student politics’ lens…

  • Filling in the biggest skills gap: Increasing learning at Levels 4 and 5

    23 August 2018 by Dave Phoenix

    Level 4 and 5 qualifications – including Foundation Degrees, Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (NHDs) – are an excellent route for those not interested (or not yet ready) to embark on a full degree, for mature learners who want to take only a limited amount of time…

  • Cracking the code: A practical guide for university free speech policies

    19 July 2018 by Diana Beech

    The question of whether UK higher education institutions are effectively promoting free speech on campus is a political hot potato. Recent attempts to ‘no platform’ speakers by students and academics have caused Government and policymakers to question whether the right balance is being struck by higher education institutions, which have a…

  • Change is coming: how universities can navigate through turbulent political times

    8 June 2018 by Diana Beech

    In this new Policy Note, Dr Diana Beech, HEPI Director of Policy and Advocacy, summarises our 2017/18 work stream with PwC and examines the main strategic challenges facing universities in the current political climate. It identifies a pressing need for universities and colleges to come together to: learn from each…

  • 2018 Student Academic Experience Survey

    7 June 2018 by Jonathan Neves (Advance HE) and Nick Hillman (HEPI)

    The HEPI / Advance HE 2018 Student Academic Experience Survey records the views of over 14,000 students. As in earlier years, it includes a wealth of information on issues such as value for money perceptions, contact time and workload and student wellbeing. It also includes the results of a range of…

  • How different is Oxbridge?

    24 May 2018 by Charlotte Freitag and Nick Hillman

    We have conducted a new analysis to compare the student experience at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge to the student experience at other Russell Group universities and to students at all UK universities. The results show that, compared to other Russell Group students as well as students…