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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.)

  • Why open access is not enough: Spreading the benefits of research

    15 December 2022 by Victoria Gardner and Dr Laura Brassington

    Open access (OA), under which research is freely available without paywalls, is one of the main discussion points of the twenty-first century research environment. The benefits of OA are clear, from making research outcomes more impactful in terms of increased citations to enabling their wider availability within and outside academia.…

  • How can you help me?: Students’ perspectives on careers services and employment

    8 December 2022 by Josh Freeman & Nick Hillman

    The Higher Education Policy Institute polled 1,105 students via the National Union of Students (NUS) for their views on careers services and employment. The results have been published as How can you help me?: Students’ perspectives on careers services and employment (HEPI Policy Note 40), produced in conjunction with Handshake. The results…

  • The Future of Digital Learning Resources: Students’ Expectations versus Reality

    2 December 2022 by Laura Brassington

    Since 2020, learning in higher education has been transformed by digitisation. Digital learning is not a new phenomenon, but its adoption by higher education institutions was accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift towards digitisation and online learning offers significant advantages. Making content available online and throughout the day can make learning more…

  • Reforming the UCAS personal statement: Making the case for a series of short questions

    24 November 2022 by Tom Fryer, Steve Westlake and Steven Jones

    The UCAS personal statement is a 4,000 character and 47-line essay that each applicant submits when applying for UK undergraduate programmes. This paper begins by looking at the limited existing literature on UCAS personal statements before presenting some new analysis of applicants’ draft personal statements. The authors conclude that, in…

  • Student belonging and the wider context

    17 November 2022 by Dr Richard Vytniorgu

    Student belonging and the wider context by Dr Richard Vytniorgu, uses structured interviews with students to explore the sense of belonging among students.

  • Opportunities to improve university governance in England

    10 November 2022 by Dr Alison Wheaton

    In this HEPI report, Alison Wheaton presents new research into English university governance. The report sets out key findings with regard to how English university governors perceive their roles, the influences on those perceptions and the opportunities created to enhance university self-governance. Examples of good practice arising from the research…

  • Research Leadership Matters: Agility, Alignment, Ambition

    3 November 2022 by Professor Matthew Flinders

    Research leadership is not a common topic of discussion. It should be. Research leadership matters. It drives, sustains, supports, protects and inspires people. It is connective and catalysing. This matters because without it, increasing public investment in research and development is unlikely to fulfil its potential in terms of both…

  • No Platform: Speaker Events at University Debating Unions

    13 October 2022 by Josh Freeman

    This report analyses the state of debate on UK university campuses, with particular reference to student debating societies. It finds existing problems include a lot of ‘quiet’ no-platforming, meaning students are put off from inviting external speakers by the hassle, cost and risk of controversy. While rejecting the idea that…

  • Plan B research funding: Turning adversity into opportunity

    29 September 2022 by Marco Cavallaro

    In Horizon Europe and Plan B research funding: Turning adversity into opportunity (HEPI Policy Note 38), Marco Cavallaro of the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Switzerland argues full association with Horizon Europe remains preferable but provides a checklist for making Plan B work, including: incentivising the participation of less well-resourced UK universities in European research…