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


In recent years, HEPI has produced over 20 reports a year. They are all available free of charge here on our website and all our longer reports are also available in hard copy from the HEPI office.

The version on the website should be regarded as the version of record.

  • The role of universities in driving overseas investment into UK Research and Development

    7 March 2023 by Dr Alexis Brown

    While universities already play an important role in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the UK, there is a clear opportunity to expand and enhance this role through better collaboration between universities, local growth partners and government. This HEPI Report intends to begin a conversation – within universities and across…

  • Where do we go from here? Quality assurance in English higher education

    16 February 2023 by Andrew Boggs

    After March 2023, the UK-wide Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) will stop being the Designated Quality Body for English higher education, as the QAA wants to avoid losing its registration with the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education. In Where do we go from here? Quality assurance in English higher education (Policy…

  • Public Attitudes to Higher Education Survey 2022

    2 February 2023

    The UPP Foundation and HEPI commissioned Public First to run the polling and analysis for this report. (The previous iteration, ran in 2021, can be found here.) Public First polled 1,994 adults over the age of 18 in England between from 26 to 31 of August 2022. The polling sample and…

  • How to talk to policymakers about research

    19 January 2023

    This report is based on interviews with a range of experienced politicians, political advisers and civil servants. It looks at how policymakers currently engage with cutting-edge research and considers ways to improve the relationship between those who push at the boundaries of knowledge and those who govern the country.

  • ‘Not heard of this’: Employers’ perceptions of the UK’s Graduate Route visa

    5 January 2023 by Nick Hillman

    A new HEPI Policy Note reveals a lack of understanding among employers of the post-study working rights of international students in the UK, even though the Graduate Route visa could provide the answer to many current skills shortages. The Graduate Route visa was introduced in 2021 and allows international students…

  • 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.