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


HEPI aims to produce around a dozen pieces of high quality research and analysis each year – all reports are available free of charge here on our website and are generally also available in hard copy from the HEPI office.

  • International university rankings: For good or ill?

    15 December 2016 by Bahram Bekhradnia

    Rankings of universities have become increasingly influential in recent years. This report demonstrates the dangers that this represents. It shows that international rankings are almost entirely based on research-related criteria, and if universities are to move up the rankings the only way of doing so is to focus on their…

  • 2016 HEPI Annual Lecture by Dr Martha J. Kanter, former US Under Secretary of Education (2009-13) and now Executive Director of the College Promise Campaign and Senior Fellow, New York University’s Steinhardt Institute of Higher Education Policy

    8 December 2016

    The 2016 HEPI Annual Lecture was delivered on the evening of Thursday 8th December by Dr Martha J. Kanter, former US Under-Secretary of Education in President Barack Obama’s first administration (2009-13) and now Executive Director of the College Promise Campaign and Senior Fellow, New York University’s Steinhardt Institute of Higher Education Policy.…

  • Protecting the Public Interest in Higher Education

    13 October 2016 by Bill Rammell

    This new pamphlet by Bill Rammell, Vice Chancellor for the University of Bedfordshire and a former Higher Education Minister, argues the Government’s obsession with market competition ignores the fundamental purpose of universities to serve the public interest. He argues that the public interest should be reflected in legislation and calls…

  • The invisible problem? Improving students’ mental health

    22 September 2016 by Poppy Brown, with a Foreword by the Rt Hon. Norman Lamb MP

    Students are less happy and more anxious than the general population, including other young people, and a minority suffer from serious mental disorders. It is stressful to live away from home without access to past support networks, while learning in new ways, taking on large debts and facing an uncertain…

  • Tackling Wicked Issues: Prestige and Employment Outcomes in the Teaching Excellence Framework

    8 September 2016 by Paul Blackmore, Richard Blackwell and Martin Edmondson

    Successive governments have tried to improve teaching quality in universities. The proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is the latest attempt. This new pamphlet explores two of the most difficult issues that need more attention and offers some solutions. In the first chapter Paul Blackmore considers why research has a higher…

  • Higher Education in New Zealand: What might the UK learn?

    28 July 2016 by Sam Cannicott

    Since 2014, HEPI has undertaken major comparative studies of higher education in Australia and Germany. Now, we turn our attention to New Zealand. Although the New Zealand higher education sector is small compared to the UK’s, it performs very well in international league tables. Moreover, policymakers in Wellington have given…

  • HEPI-HEA 2016 Student Academic Experience Survey

    9 June 2016 by Jonathan Neves and Nick Hillman

    The HEPI-HEA Student Academic Experience Survey has been running since 2006 and shows how full-time undergraduates rate their time in higher education and their attitudes towards policy issues that impact upon them. The Survey has been designed and developed in partnership between the Higher Education Policy Institute and the Higher Education Academy.…

  • Keeping Schtum?: What students think of free speech (Wave 2 of the HEPI / YouthSight Monitor)

    22 May 2016 by Nick Hillman

    Wave 2 of the HEPI / YouthSight Monitor focuses on freedom and the limits of freedom at UK higher education institutions, including: free speech; freedom from discrimination; No Platform policies; gender segregation; academic freedom; safe spaces; trigger warnings; library resources; and even whether it is appropriate for student unions to…

  • Boys to Men: The underachievement of young men in higher education – and how to start tackling it

    12 May 2016 by Nick Hillman and Nicholas Robinson, with a Foreword by Mary Curnock Cook

    Young men are significantly less likely to enter higher education than young women, and they are also more likely to drop out and less likely to achieve a highly-graded degree. There are many causes and the disparity in educational achievement starts long before higher education. Yet, while this issue is…

  • Making a Success of Employer Sponsored Education

    21 April 2016 by Dave Phoenix

    What are Employer Sponsored Degrees? What benefits do they offer students, employers, universities and taxpayers? How do they differ from Degree Apprenticeships? What does the Apprenticeship Levy mean for Employer Sponsored Degrees? All these questions and more are answered in this paper by the Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University. He also…