Category / Research Training

CQR Lunchtime Seminar “Poetry as Research” Wed RLH 201 1pm

The Centre for Qualitative Research invites you to its continuing series of lunchtime seminars this Wednesday at 1 pm in RLH 201 for “Poetry as Research” “In Conversation” with Lee-Ann Fenge and Wendy Cutts.

This year’s theme is “LISTEN MAKE SHARE”. Each month two CQR members  present their experiences to the audience ‘in conversation’ with either Narrative Methods (listening to stories), Arts-based Research methods (making stories), or Dissemination methods (sharing stories).

The seminars will involve two conversants and plenty of opportunity for audience participation in listening, making, and sharing. Not lectures, the seminars consist of two presenters ‘In Conversation” about a topic or method. There will be no PPT, but plenty of time for audience interaction and feedback!

Come along and join ‘In Conversation’!

Wed. 1 pm RLH 201 “Poetry as Research” with Lee-Ann Fenge & Wendy Cutts

Fake conferences are not fake news: beware predatory conferences

Introduction

Academic have been warned for a decade about predatory Open Access publishers (van Teijlingen 2014). These are commercial organisations charging academics a publication fee on submission of their manuscripts with a promise to publish their work quickly online. The problem is twofold: first, these commercial organisations don’t offer proper peer-review and editorial quality assurance; and secondly, academic are being tricked into believing the journal is a legitimate scientific publication.  The second author receives on average six to eight invitations a week to publish in this kind of predatory journals – see below for examples. The first author, who despite having not worked in an academic institution for over three years, still receives such invitations to publish in ‘Journal X’.

Predatory conferences

A similar phenomenon to predatory journals is the predatory conference (Moital 2014; Nobes 2017; Grove 2017). These are pretend academic conferences of questionable value, established first and foremost to make money, not for the greater good of the academic discipline.

Both authors have received bogus and legitimate invitations to attend conferences. A predicament with such an invitation, which 99% of time arrives by email, is that it is not easy to distinguish between fake and real offers. For example, the first author recently received an offer (at short notice), to attend a conference in Miami in November 2017 (see below). This was on the back of an editorial he had published couple of months earlier. For a career researcher going from contract to contract, the appeal of being invited to present a keynote at a conference can be flattering, far less an honour and a boost for one’s career. Therefore, while the idea that if it seems too good to be true, is a prudent one to hold; there is also a temptation to follow through.

The author replied to the request quizzing the reason for the invite out of the blue. The answer was less than convincing, and a swift email by the author saying “Don’t tell me… You are offering me a keynote with travel and accommodation… Lol!!” called their bluff and ended correspondence.

But digging a little deeper he found there was a webpage dedicated to taking payments to attend the conference. In the digital world, a fool can be easily and quickly separated from his or her money.

Of course, it may have been a real conference at a real venue, and they really wanted him to speak. But discerning this is not easy at first…

Some of the warning signs/What to look out for

  • The conference email invitation looks very convincing (if not don’t even read it!).
  • The venue is good location as Nobes (2017) highlighted, “the organizers are more interested in marketing the tourist destination rather than the academic value of the conference”.
  • The conference covers too many different aspects or topics, as if the advert is designed to catch the eye of many people as possible who are vaguely connected to the discipline.
  • Mentions on associated predatory journals and ‘important’ organisations in the discipline.
  • Email and bank accounts that don’t look professional/ official.
  • Little mention of attendance fees, but after acceptance emails demanding a high conference fee and other charges.
  • Conference organisers are not academics, or unknown names.
  • Conference does not peer-review submission/ not provide proper editorial control over presentations
  • Signs of copying of names of existing academic conferences or scientific organisation and even copying of their webpages
  • Even more advertising than normal at a scientific conference.

Furthermore, Andy Nobes (2017) offered some helpful advice on quality of the conference websites in the list below. Andy is based at AuthorAID, a global network providing support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries.

Who is at risk of falling for predatory conferences?

Academics need to be aware of money-making conferences and meetings without a true commitment to science. But some academics might be more at risk than others. Young researchers, PhD students and fledgling academics, living from contract to contract may feel any conference attendance is a potential career boost. Thus, such an invitation might seem flattering and an opportunity to good to miss. A way to show that he or she is a capable and independent academic.

Final thoughts

Most academics go to conferences for a combination of presenting their work to get critical feedback, making new contacts, sharing ideas and to be inspired. With such broad combination of motivating factors, the exact purpose of conferences is difficult to ascertain because there is no a priori agreed role and value of conferences (Nicolson, 2017a). However, there is evidence that academic conferences function to facilitate commodity transactions, be that knowledge, tools, skills, reputations, or connections, which reflects the neoliberal ethos in the modern academy (Nicolson 2017b). The predatory conference can be viewed in this light, where academia is more and more focused on generating revenue. It is at best scurrilous, and worst, criminal, for organisations to make money using such a confidence trick.  Always check which conferences are organised and advertised by recognised scholarly organisations in your own discipline. If uncertain ask a more experienced academic, a senior colleague or mentor.

 

 

Donald J. Nicolson

(Health Services Researcher, NHS Fife, and Independent Scholar; twitter @_mopster )

Edwin R. van Teijlingen

(Centre Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

 

References:

Moital, M. (2014) Ten Signs of a Bogus/Fake Conference.

Grove, J. (2017) Predatory conferences ‘now outnumber official scholarly events’  (26th Oct.)

Nicolson, D.J. (2017a) Do conference presentations impact beyond the conference venue? Journal of Research in Nursing. 22(5), pp.422-425.

Nicolson, D.J. (2017b) Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities, Palgrave Macmillan

Nobes, A. (2017) What are ‘predatory’ conferences and how can I avoid them?

van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Beware of rogue journals.

 

EndNote workshop

The library is offering a workshop on EndNote.

We will show you how to use EndNote to manage your citations and keep track of your literature.

Follow this link for further information: https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/workingatbu/staffdevelopmentandengagement/fusiondevelopment/fusionprogrammesandevents/rkedevelopmentframework/skillsdevelopment/managingyourcitationsusingendnotedesktop/

We look forward to seeing you at this workshop.

José

José López Blanco

Faculty Librarian (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)

Library workshop: Developing an effective search strategy – 25th of October 2017 at 1pm

Hello,

Searching the literature is one of the main components of research.

This workshop  (Wednesday, 25th of October, 1pm-3pm) gives you the tools to perform a literature search strategically; some of the aspects I will cover include:

  • Boolean operators
  • Identifying keywords
  • Using MySearch and subject-specific databases
  • Citation searching and alerts
  • Web of Science and Scopus

I look forward to seeing you at this workshop.

José

José López Blanco, Faculty Librarian (Health and Social Sciences)

#Vitaechat 19 October, 12-1pm – ‘What every researcher needs to know’

Focus-on: Getting started – ‘What every researcher needs to know’

Join the #vitaechat on Thursday 19 October from 12 until 1pm and find out more about:

  • what first steps should be taken when undertaking your PhD or starting a new postdoc role
  • managing supervisor/PI relationships
  • planning your research project
  • identifying your typical milestones
  • prioritising your development opportunities
  • when best to start thinking about your post-PhD career

This is a good opportunity to gain essential tips and understand what to expect next from experts who have been on a similar journey.  What’s even better is that you don’t even have to leave your desk!

Register here.

Vitae Mentoring for Researcher Developers Pilot

Call for mentors and mentees

Do you want to enhance the career and professional development of researcher developers? Would you like to be a mentor for other researcher developers? If so, please sign up below.

Or perhaps you have identified areas you wish to develop to take your career one step further? Are you spending all your time developing others and not thinking about your own career and development needs? If so, why not sign up to be a mentee?

If you wish to be either a mentor or a mentee in Vitae’s Mentoring for Researcher Developers pilot please fill in your details by going to our sign up form: https://sumac.ac.uk/account/vitae/scheme/202  

Purpose of the scheme:

  • To enable researcher developers, or those with a role in developing researchers, to enhance continuing professional development opportunities, consider their careers in a broader context or focus on particular areas they would like to develop further. 

Benefits for mentors, mentees, the organisation and the sector

  • Mentors can share their expertise and experience with mentees to help in reviewing their individual competency levels using CFRD
  • Mentors can help mentees in identifying and working on areas for development
  • Increasing mentor and mentee organisation’s capacity to provide researcher development
  • Enhancing the quality of researcher development provision
  • Improving professionalism in researcher development
  • Broadening mentor and mentee networks
  • Informing individuals, organisations and the sector of training needs of researcher developers

The pilot mentoring programme will run for approximately 12 months and although it officially started in mid June 2017, the call is still active.  You would be expected to be in contact for approximately 6-12 hours during the duration of the programme – times to be agreed with the pairing once a match is made.

If you have any queries about the pilot please contact Jen Reynolds at: jen.reynolds@vitae.ac.uk

My enriching experience as a research assistant on a whiplash prognosis project

“My enriching experience as a research assistant on the Whiplash Prognosis Project 2017”

-Renuka Balasundaram

Department of Psychology

Bournemouth University

With my master’s dissertation due in a month’s time, I decided to take up another research assistantship, given my profound interest in research. This project which was led by supervisors Dr. Jonny Branney and Dr. Ellen Seiss was mainly aimed at conducting a literature review to gather evidence relating to the prognostic factors following acute whiplash injury in adults. After getting well acquainted with my supervisors during the first meeting, I got thoroughly briefed on the aims and objectives of the project and a detailed plan on how to go about it. During the entire course of the project, there was good communication, interaction and flexibility where I was given the autonomy and freedom to come up with innovative ideas to work around the project. With regular weekly face to face meetings and briefings on the progress of the project from my side, we successfully completed the project and tabulated necessary evidence on the research area.

The interesting aspect of the project to me was categorising the prognostic factors according to the biopsychosocial model since I got to apply the learnings of psychological principles and theories to diverse fields. This facilitated improved learning on a range of topics like role of organisational factors of physical and mental health, public health system and compensation, subjectivity of pain threshold and clinical statistics to name a few. I am glad to have been a part of this preliminary research which is ultimately aimed at filling the gap in literature concerning evidence on prognostic factors immediately following acute whiplash, and eventually developing effective interventions and treatment plans in the future.

This research project has personally given me insights into doing a thorough evaluation of evidence based on different statistical models, and also conducting independent literature review on a specific research area. I strongly feel that theoretical knowledge in research methodologies and statistics can be put into effective use only when taken part in research projects. This gives the practical experience of working alongside supervisors or a research team, meeting deadlines and promotes collaborative work in a multi-disciplinary team. Overall, my experience as a student research assistant has given me a clear vision into research in a real world and practical setting, enhanced my ability to critically evaluate and sum up evidence, improved my scientific writing skills and has ultimately driven me to pursue my future goal of becoming a PhD laureate.

British Council Research Links Workshops

As well as the opportunities to apply for funding from the Researcher Links Programme, there is also the possibility of attending the workshops that are supported by this funding.

Current opportunities are:

Enhancing regional water security in semi-arid regions through improved metropolitan design

  • Date of workshop: 14–17 November 2017
  • Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Application deadline: 18 August 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here.   

Developing an agenda for Fintech research in emerging economies

  • Date of workshop: 31 October-2 November 2017
  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Application deadline: 20 August 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here .

Role of small holder agroforestry systems in the arid and semi-arid region in combating climate change

  • Date of workshop: 18-21 December 2017
  • Location: Kisumu, Kenya
  • Application deadline: 30 August 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here

India-UK Workshop on Thermoelectric Materials for Waste-Heat Harvesting

  • Date of workshop: 8-10 January 2018
  • Location: Bangalore, India
  • Application deadline: 1 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here.

Workshop on Increasing Climate Resilience of Urban Infrastructure 

  • Date of workshop: 15-17 January 2018
  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Application deadline: 14 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here

India-UK Workshop on Working at the Chemistry Microbiology Interface to Develop New Antibiotics   

  • Date of workshop: 14-18 December 2017
  • Location: Bengaluru, India
  • Application deadline: 15 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links match-funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here .  

Phytomedical Compounds For Diabetes And Diabetes-Related Complications (DRC)

  • Date of workshop: 12-16 December 2017
  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Application deadline: 18 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here  

Localising strategies for making cities resilient to disasters

  • Date of workshop: 22-26 January 2018
  • Location: De La Salle University, Philippines
  • Application deadline: 30 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here  

 

Further workshops will be promoted by the British Council.

 

 

 

RKEO Academic and Researcher Induction

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) invite all ‘new to BU’ academics and researchers to an induction.

Signpost with the words Help, Support, Advice, Guidance and Assistance on the direction arrows, against a bright blue cloudy sky.This event provides an overview of all the practical information staff need to begin developing their research plans at BU, using both internal and external networks; to develop and disseminate research outcomes; and maximising the available funding opportunities.

Objectives

  • The primary aim of this event is to raise participants’ awareness of how to get started in research at BU or, for more established staff, how to take their research to the next level
  • To provide participants with essential, practical information and orientation in key stages and processes of research and knowledge exchange at BU

Indicative content

  • An overview of research at BU and how R&KEO can help/support academic staff
  • The importance of horizon-scanning, signposting relevant internal and external funding opportunities and clarifying the applications process
  • How to grow a R&KE portfolio, including academic development schemes
  • How to develop internal and external research networks
  • Key points on research ethics and developing research outputs
  • Getting started with Knowledge Exchange and business engagement

For more information about the event, please see the following link: https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/workingatbu/staffdevelopmentandengagement/rolecareerdevelopment/academiccareerdevelopment/rkeoinduction/

The seventh induction will be held on Wednesday, 27th September 2017 on the 4th floor of Melbury House.

Title Date Time Location
Research & Knowledge Exchange Office (R&KEO) Research Induction Wednesday 27th September 2017 9.00 – 12.00 Lansdowne Campus

9.00-9.15 – Coffee/tea and cake/fruit will be available on arrival

9.15 – RKEO academic induction (with a break at 10.45)

11.25 – Organisational Development upcoming development opportunities

11.30 – Opportunity for one to one interaction with RKEO staff

12.00 – Close

There will also be literature and information packs available.

If you would like to attend the induction then please book your place through Organisational Development and you can also visit their pages here. We will directly contact those who have started at BU in the last five months.

We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you.

Regards,

The RKEO teamRKEO

NEW: RKEDF Programme for 2017/18

Following consultation, the RKEO have developed the new programme of training and development opportunities for 2017/18 for the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework.

There will be over 150 training and development opportunities available.  Visit the site to see what’s on offer throughout the year.  Many opportunities are available for booking.

What’s new for 2017/18

There are 14 pathways this year, which includes the addition of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) pathway.  This will see a number of events/workshops throughout the year, with most based around the individual units of assessment (UoA).  We have renamed the ‘Working with Business’ pathway to ‘Research Partnerships with Industry’.  This is more descriptive of what is on offer through this pathway.

As well as a full programme of opportunities, we have also created a mini-programme of opportunities specifically for Research Assistants, post-docs and early career researchers.  Booking is through the main RKEDF website.

We are pleased to announce that both BU Pro Vice Chancellors will be running strategy sessions this year.  Keep an eye out for dates later in the year.

We have also developed a set of frequently asked questions to help you navigate your way through the RKEDF.

Success signHighlights

There are many events to choose from this year, as well as online content available throughout the year.  Shown below are a snapshot of what might interest you.

Do browse the main site and see how BU can support you in the development of your research career.  Bookings are all through Organisational Development and available electronically within each pathway.  If you have any general queries then please contact Jo Garrad, Funding Development Manager, RKEO.

 

Prof. Sara Ashencaen Crabtree – My Publishing experience…

On Wednesday 28th June, the Writing Academy will be hosting a Lunchbyte session with Sara Ashencaen Crabtree. During the session Sara will talk about her personal publishing experience, her approaches to research and writing, her tips on developing a publication strategy, working with co-authors, reviewers and editors. She will talk about all types of publishing drawing on personal experience, focusing on international reach.

Aims:

  • Developing a Publication Strategy
  • Dealing with Co-Editors, Reviewers & Editors
  • International Reach

Click here to book on!

HE policy update w/e 16th June 2017

New Parliament – On Monday we sent out a special edition policy update to keep you current on the political arrangements as the new government is formed. If you missed it you can read it here. Locally, all the incumbents were re-elected, meaning the whole of Dorset continues to be represented by Conservatives. A breakdown of the local MPs, the profile of their vote share, and current political interest areas is available here. It has now been confirmed that the Queen’s Speech and state opening of Parliament will take place on Wednesday 21 June. Since Monday’s update it has been confirmed that Jo Johnson remains in post as Universities Science Research and Innovation Minister. Anne Milton is the new Apprenticeships and Skills Minister. Locally Tobias Ellwood will move to the Ministry for Defence.

  • Student voting preferences: YouGov’s post-election poll states that 64% of full time students voted Labour, 19% for Conservatives, 10% Lib Dems. For graduates Labour got 49% and Conservatives 32%.
  • Effect of age: The survey states that young turnout was not as high as the media initially reported – 59% of 20-24 year olds voted. The survey highlights that age is a new dividing line in British politics. For every 10 years older a voter is, the likelihood they will vote Conservative increases.
  • Effect of education: The survey reports that education is also an electoral demographic divide with support. In the recent election support for the Conservatives decreased the more educated a voter was, with the reverse for Labour and the Lib Dems. Age is a factor, the young have more qualifications than the old, however YouGov report even accounting for this the Conservatives still have a graduate problem.

Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data – The full longitudinal education outcomes (LEO) data was released this week. It shows graduate earnings and employment outcomes from 2014/15 taking data from the students graduating 1, 3 and 5 years before 2014/15. The methodological of how the data measured prior attainment has changed and ethnicity identifiers have been removed from the dataset for this release. LEO will be published alongside the Key Information Set on Unistats. Wonkhe ran a live LEO blog on release day (BU got a mention) and have an assortment of articles discussing the LEO findings as well as university rankings for each subject area. Polar data is available so comparison of the class effect on graduate earnings is possible even at a subject level. BU is generally positioned well within the LEO data, which is consistent with our DLHE outcomes data.

Gender pay gaps: Wonkhe reported on the first trial release of LEO data highlighting that the pay gap between women and men is visible from graduation. Wonkhe have explored this gender pay gap through the full LEO dataset released this week. Their new article identifies that, while the gender gap remains, subject area has an affect and where there are lower numbers of men than women on a subject, e.g. nursing, the men outperform the women’s pay by an even greater margin. The article questions whether universities are failing to prepare women to enter the most well-paying graduate jobs, and failing to encourage women’s aspirations on the same par as men. The article also anticipates that when the pay data can be cut by ethnicity that further gender racial divides will been seen. The Guardian also report on the gender pay gap.

Brexit – residency rights for EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK post Brexit are not as black and white as it seems. This report from Migration Watch UK on the EC’s negotiating position explores the shades of grey. There are ongoing rumours of pressure to soften the approach to Brexit but no indication of it – the formal negotiations with the EU start on Monday.

Higher Education and Research Act (HERA) – With Jo Johnson, Justine Greening and Greg Clark’s continuation of their cabinet roles the sector anticipates that both TEF and the HE and Research Act will move forward with more certainty now. UUK have published a briefing on the implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. UUK remain positive in their approach to the act whilst acknowledging the potential risk to institutional autonomy. The act replaces HEFCE with the OfS, establishes the combined UKRI, and begins to establish the new regulatory system for the sector. UUK call for universities to engage and influence how OfS and UKRI approach their remit and to consider the implications of these split bodies with reference to the relationship between teaching and research within universities.

Regulation: The sector will be regulated through the register of HE providers. The OfS can vary the conditions applied to providers (as the pool of providers will be wider) and requirements relating to access and participation. A technical consultation on registration fees is expected during autumn 2017. Student protection plans will be a requirement of registration, including transparency in enabling provision for student transfers. The OfS will consult on whether there are appropriate bodies that could perform quality assessment and data collection in advance of April 2018 and that would command the confidence of the sector.

Teaching quality: During amendment through parliament conditions of registration relating to quality and standards of teaching meant conditions should relate to sector recognised standards. The detail and ownership the sector will have over the definition of standards is unclear. However, amendments within the Lords ensured that ‘quality’ and ‘standards’ should be properly defined and separate and the independent ability of institutions to set their own standards was protected. The UK-wide standing committee on quality assessment is working to coordinate a shared regulatory baseline and is also reviewing how the quality code, including standards, may need to evolve in the context of the new regulations. HEFCE is also expected to conduct a review of the Annual Provider Review in the autumn.

Degree awarding powers: will be subject to independent quality advice from either the designated quality body or an independent committee, and replicates much of the role of the QAA’s Advisory Committee on degree awarding powers (Section 46). A consultation on how the OfS should exercise its new powers, including ‘probationary’ degree awarding powers, and the removal of degree awarding powers is expected. There are additional conditions to be met before OfS can vary or revoke degree awarding powers or university title, royal charters cannot be revoked in full. There is to be additional ministerial oversight of new providers without a validation track record. Amendment discussions secured tightened regulation around degree awarding powers and university title to protect both students and the sector reputation on sector entry for new providers.

Financial powers: OfS will have the ability to make grants or loans to a HE provider, replicating HEFCE’s powers to provider funding for high cost or strategic/vulnerable subjects. It’s likely any support for providers in financial difficulty would require DfE and Treasury input.

Fee limits & TEF: Fee limit changes require (active) approval by both Commons and Lords, even if the increase is below inflation. An approved access and participation plan is required. There are three levels of fee limits:

  • the higher amount which will ordinarily increase by inflation (LINKED TO TEF)
  • an intermediate cap LINKED TO TEF (but won’t be implemented before 2020)
  • a basic cap (currently set at £9,000)

Until the academic year 2020/21 all providers participating in TEF with approved access plans will be permitted to charge the full inflationary increase up to the higher amount. Before differential fees determined by TEF rating can be implemented an independent review of TEF must take place. The review would need to take place in winter 2018/19 for differential fees to be implemented in 2020/21. The review will cover:

  • the process by which ratings are determined under the scheme and the sources of statistical information used in that process
  • whether process and statistical information are fit for purpose in determining ratings under the scheme
  • the names of the ratings under the scheme and whether those names are appropriate
  • the impact of the scheme on the ability of higher education providers to which the scheme applies to carry out their functions (including in particular their functions relating to teaching and research)
  • an assessment of whether the scheme is in the public interest
  • any other matters that the appointed person considers relevant

Subject level TEF have been delayed by an additional year but will be piloted in 17/18 and 18/19.

UKRI: will operate from April 2018 and is expected to commence by drafting its research and innovation strategy in collaboration with the sector. Research England will have to consult on the terms and conditions attached to the quality-related funding it provides. The government must publish details of the funding provided to UKRI, the terms and conditions attached, and the amount granted to each of the seven councils. This is designed to give public oversight of the process, and to encourage responsible allocation of funding to the different councils. The dual support system will not be undermined. The Act enshrines the Haldane principle within the legislation ‘decisions on individual research proposals are best taken following an evaluation of the quality and likely impact of the proposals (such as a peer review process)’. UKRI should give equal regard to all nations of the UK.

Widening Participation – The Social Mobility Commission have published the Social Mobility Barometer surveying the public’s attitude towards UK social mobility. The Barometer is new and there will be follow up polls each year until 2021. It was run by YouGov. Press coverage: BBC; TES focus on the belief education will be better in the future.

  • 48% of the public believe that where you end up in society today is mainly determined by your background and who your parents are; 32% believe everyone has a fair chance to get on regardless of their background.
  • 79% believe that there is a large gap between the social classes in Britain today.
  • A large majority of people believe that poorer people are held back at nearly every stage of their lives – from childhood, through education and into their careers.
  • 71% believe opportunity is dependent on where a person lives (something the government’s intended Industrial Strategy aims to tackle)
  • Young people increasingly feel they are on the wrong side of a profound unfairness in British society. The report links this dissatisfaction with the recent election where record numbers of young people voted.
  • Personal finances, job security and housing are key issues.
  • 76% of the public say poorer people are less likely to attend a top university and 66% say poorer people have less opportunity for a professional career.

Fees and Funding

The House of Commons Library have published a clear briefing paper on HE funding in England. It covers the 2012/13 higher fee increase, removal of maintenance grants and student loan repayment threshold decisions. It also summarises the public spend on HE (within England) and the impact of student loans on the national debt.

Jane Forster                                   Sarah Carter

VC’s Policy Adviser                                    Policy & Public Affairs Officer