HE Policy Update


Extremism on campus

Grant Shapps, Tory Party Chairman, has criticised Vince Cable for trying to water down proposals to ban extremist speakers from university campuses, as the coalition partners hit deadlock over planned guidance for universities. Rules are being drawn up by Downing Street demanding that universities ban all “extremist” speakers following passage of a law imposing a statutory requirement on educational institutions and other public bodies to prevent terrorism. Government row over ban on extremist speakers on university campuses (The Guardian).


Satellite Campuses

Theresa May, believes satellite campuses set up in London by universities in other parts of the UK have become a loophole used by people wanting to work in Britain rather than institutions offering rigorous academic courses to highly qualified students. New rules are now being introduced to require the satellite campuses to be fully integrated with the home university by offering the same courses, teaching standards and exams. Institutions that fail to comply will have their licences revoked. Satellite university campuses in London are being exploited  (The Times).

Election Hustings

The Times Higher Education ran a Higher Education Hustings with Greg Clark (Conservative Minister for universities and science), Liam Byrne (Labour shadow HE and science secretary) and Julian Huppert (Lib Dem science spokesperson). THE has published a write up of the debate here.


New Private Provider

A new private university is planned to open in 2017 in Hereford. The New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering (NMITE) will focus on manufacturing, defence engineering and agri-tech and will cater for up to 5,000 students. Hereford NMITE university ‘will create 500 jobs’ (BBC News).


Part-time Students

Government proposals on accelerated and flexible degrees in response to the collapse in part-time study are set to be put forward in the coming weeks, Greg Clark suggested at the HE Hustings. Flexible study emerges as cross-party concern  (THE).


Growth in the number of PhDs awarded in some academic disciplines has far outstripped that in others, evidence submitted to the REF shows. The percentage increase in doctoral degrees awarded in the social sciences during the REF period was 35 per cent, compared with just 18 per cent in medical and life sciences, for example. Social sciences ups the PhD pace  (THE).

Income of Higher Education Providers

HESA’s new publication ‘HE Finance Plus 2013/14’ outlines higher education institutions income and expenditure. The report can be viewed here.


Science Education

Science is being squeezed out of primary schools, with many now teaching the subject for less than two hours a week, business leaders have warned. Science ‘squeezed out of primary schools’ (BBC News).