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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.)

  • 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…

  • Change is coming: how universities can navigate through turbulent political times

    8 June 2018 by Diana Beech

    In this new Policy Note, Dr Diana Beech, HEPI Director of Policy and Advocacy, summarises our 2017/18 work stream with PwC and examines the main strategic challenges facing universities in the current political climate. It identifies a pressing need for universities and colleges to come together to: learn from each…

  • 2018 Student Academic Experience Survey

    7 June 2018 by Jonathan Neves (Advance HE) and Nick Hillman (HEPI)

    The HEPI / Advance HE 2018 Student Academic Experience Survey records the views of over 14,000 students. As in earlier years, it includes a wealth of information on issues such as value for money perceptions, contact time and workload and student wellbeing. It also includes the results of a range of…

  • How different is Oxbridge?

    24 May 2018 by Charlotte Freitag and Nick Hillman

    We have conducted a new analysis to compare the student experience at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge to the student experience at other Russell Group universities and to students at all UK universities. The results show that, compared to other Russell Group students as well as students…

  • Reaching the parts of society universities have missed: A manifesto for the new Director of Fair Access and Participation

    10 May 2018 by Paul Clarke and Dr Diana Beech (Editors)

    The new regulatory regime for higher education in England incorporates a new approach to access and participation. A new Director of Fair Access and Participation (Chris Millward) will encourage universities to make further and faster progress than ever before. HEPI and Brightside jointly asked 35 leading thinkers for their views…