HE Policy Update


Staff Teaching Qualifications

It has been argued that the failure of universities to supply sufficiently robust data on staff teaching qualifications is another obstacle to the government’s bid to introduce a Teaching Excellence Framework. HEFCE has asked universities to reveal how many of their staff hold an accredited teaching qualification, with the information viewed as a potential metric in the teaching excellence framework. Lack of teaching qualification data seen as blow to TEF (THE).


The NUS Vice-President for Higher Education has argued that traditional methods of assessment such as exams and essays “privileged people from certain backgrounds”, particularly the privately educated, and that getting a good mark often reflected “that you know how to play the game” rather than “the effort you have put in or the learning that has gone on”. NUS vice-president blames university teaching for struggles of poorer students (THE).

Students in Work

The insurance company Endsleigh has revealed that three out of every four students are working either part or full-time to help fund their way through university. Three out of every four students working to help fund university, according to new figures (The Independent).


International Students

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield discusses the integration of international students studying in the UK. He argues that one of the greatest challenges may be convincing home students that they can benefit from working and socialising with international students. Get UK students out of comfort zone and engaging with international peers (The Guardian).

University Admissions

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire has argued that there should be a longer-term aim to move to a system of applying to university after students know their result, rather than the current system of relying on predicted grades to receive conditional offers. University applications ‘should come after results’ (BBC News).



The National Student Survey results revealed that undergraduate satisfaction has held steady despite the introduction of £9,000 tuition fees in England. National Student Survey 2015: £9K fees fail to dent satisfaction (THE).



The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) has responded to the current quality assessment review. Their response reveals that the QAA supports most of the principles behind the consultation. However, it argues that the UK Quality Code should be reformed rather than removed. Fighting for survival (Research Professional).

A-Level Results

A-Level results revealed that more than 409,000 students have been accepted on to UK higher education courses, a record high and a rise of 3 per cent on the same point last year. Figures also reveal that the gender gap in university admissions continues to widen, with 27,000 more young women than men set to enrol. A-level results 2015: record number of students accepted into UK higher education (THE).


HE Funding

A report due to be published next month by the influential thinktank, Policy Exchange, argues for funding to be redistributed from university to FE provision. The report is expected to argue that FE colleges would be better placed to meet the growing demand for higher-level technical qualifications than universities, so government funding should be allocated accordingly. Cut university budgets to fund FE, suggests thinktank (THE).