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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 Impact of Selective Secondary Education on Progression to Higher Education

    10 January 2019 by Iain Mansfield

    Most previous research on grammar schools has focused narrowly on eligibility for Free School Meals as a measure of disadvantage. But with 45% of pupils at grammar schools coming from families with below median incomes, a broader consideration of the impact of grammar schools on social mobility is necessary. The…

  • Homeward Bound: Defining, understanding and aiding ‘commuter students’

    13 December 2018 by David Maguire and David Morris

    The vast majority of students in the UK experience higher education on a residential basis: they move away from home to study. But, for a significant minority of students, higher education is experienced differently. Around one-quarter of students live at home and commute to study, and in some parts of…

  • 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…