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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.)

  • The soft-power benefits of educating the world’s leaders

    5 September 2019 by Nick Hillman and Tom Huxley

    The soft-power benefits of educating the world’s leaders (Policy Note 16), shows the UK continues to fall behind the US when it comes to educating people who go on to lead their own countries.

  • University governance in a new age of regulation: A conversation between Professor Steven Jones and Nick Hillman, with a Foreword by Professor Michael Shattock

    29 August 2019 by Steven Jones, Nick Hillman and Michael Shattock

    This exchange about university governance by one academic governor and one lay governor considers: the balance between governors and managers; the disconnect between academics and governors; and • the changing demands on governors. A Foreword by Michael Shattock, the former Registrar of Warwick University and the co-author of The Governance of…

  • Two sides of the same coin? Brexit and future student demand

    8 August 2019 by Nick Hillman

    Two sides of the same coin? Brexit and student demand (HEPI Policy Note 15) contrasts two sources of information: the best available economic modelling, which forecasts a sharp drop in the number of students from other EU countries after Brexit, due to the ending of their loan entitlement and the…

  • What do students think about contextual admissions?

    25 July 2019 by Hugo Dale-Harris

    Contextual admissions have been hotly debated for years, but the Office for Students recently complained, ‘There has been minimal research on students’ views of contextual offers.’ To fill this gap, HEPI conducted the first major study into what students think of this issue. Key findings in the report include: three-quarters…

  • Payment for university governors? A discussion paper

    11 July 2019 by Alison Wheaton

    A spotlight is currently being shone on university governors, with changes in regulations leading to increased expectations on the role that they play. These changes raise questions about whether the right skills are being represented. University boards also continue to lack diversity in their membership. It is for these reasons…

  • Free Speech and Censorship on Campus

    27 June 2019 by Corey Stoughton

    There are few issues in higher education as controversial as free speech. In this report, Corey Stoughton, the Advocacy Director of the human rights organisation Liberty, looks at the issue through history, international experience and recent legal changes. She notes that asking disempowered people to accept a total right to…

  • Student Academic Experience Survey 2019

    13 June 2019 by Jonathan Neves and Nick Hillman

    The Student Academic Experience Survey has been recording the views of students since 2006. Between 4 February and 11 March 2019, 14,072 responses were collected from YouthSight’s Student Panel. Weighting has been applied to the responses to ensure the sample is balanced and reflective of the full-time student population as a…

  • Pressure Vessels: The epidemic of poor mental health among higher education staff

    23 May 2019 by Dr Liz Morrish

    Across the higher education sector, we see increasing numbers of staff being referred to counselling and occupational health services. This report attributes the deterioration to factors such as excessive workloads, insecure employment and punitive metrics-driven performance management policies and argues that universities need to become healthier environments in order for…

  • Measuring well-being in higher education

    9 May 2019 by Rachel Hewitt

    In this new Policy Note, Rachel Hewitt, HEPI’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, highlights the need to distinguish between mental health and well-being and calls for more comprehensive data to be made available on the well-being of all those work and study at universities.  Key points: The conflation of mental…

  • How safe is your data? Cyber-security in higher education

    4 April 2019 by Dr John Chapman

    In this new Policy Note, Dr John Chapman, Head of Jisc’s Security Operations Centre, reports on the cyber-security risks facing universities based on Jisc’s own work in this area. Key points: under penetration testing, there is a 100 per cent track record of gaining access to higher education institutions’ high-value…