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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.)

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

    3 March 2022 by Arda Ozcubukcu and Graham Towl

    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.…

  • The One Nation University: Spreading opportunity, reducing division and building community

    9 December 2021 by Richard Brabner

    In a new Debate Paper from the Higher Education Policy Institute, Richard Brabner, Director of the UPP Foundation, says universities and the Government should adopt the famous political idea of One Nation to reshape universities in England. Writing in a personal capacity, Brabner says criticism of recent higher education expansion…

  • Who owns online lecture recordings

    30 November 2021 by Dr Alexis Brown

    As universities gear up for a new round of strikes, taking place from 1 December to 3 December 2021, they may wish to reuse online teaching materials recorded during the pandemic to limit the impact on students.  But a new report from the Higher Education Policy Institute reveals confusion over who…

  • Hidden Voices – Graduates’ Perspectives on the Student Loan System in England

    25 November 2021 by Professor Claire Callender and Dr Ariane de Gayardon

    England’s higher education funding system has been reformed many times, leading to a system based on high fees and loans. Undergraduate tuition fees for full-time students were introduced in 1998 and rose to £3,000 a year in 2006, increasing further to £9,000 in 2021. Through a series of in-depth interviews,…

  • Catching the wave: harnessing regional research and development to level up

    21 October 2021 by Mary Stuart and Liz Shut

    Policymakers from across the political spectrum are committed to reducing regional inequalities and spending more on research and development. But there is a lack of detail as well as no consensus on how to deliver on these two priorities. There is also some confusion over how R&D policy and regional…

  • Annual Review 2020/21

    30 September 2021 by Nick Hillman

    This short Annual Review provides further detail on HEPI’s performance in 2020/21, reflecting our continued commitment to transparency on our work.