HE Policy Update



A blog in the Guardian HE network proposes better careers advice and improving links between institutions and industry as mechanisms to change perceptions held by young people, parents and educators concerning apprenticeships. The blog suggests that apprenticeships are seen as a second-rate option compared to going to university, which is preventing young people from considering other options. Why are Brits so obsessed with getting a university degree? (Guardian HE Network).

Sector Bodies

A piece in the Guardian HE Network looks at the future of three HE bodies (HEFCE, OFFA and QAA) in light of departmental budget cuts. What’s next for the quangos of higher education? (Guardian HE Network).



A draft concordat has been developed under the auspices of the UK Open Research Data Forum. The concordat aims to help to ensure that the research data gathered and generated by members of the UK research community is made openly available for use by others wherever possible, in a manner consistent with relevant legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks. Draft Concordat on Open Research Data. (Research Councils UK).

Gender Inequality

After this year’s A-Level results, UCAS revealed that 57,000 more women than men have gained university places. The figures reveal that the number of women gaining places at university is rising twice as quickly as that for men. Women further ahead in university places. (BBC News).


Graduate Employment

In a new report, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has said that the growth in the number of university leavers is “significantly outstripping” the growth in the provision of high-skilled jobs. Drawing on data from the European Social Survey, the report claims that 58.8 per cent of UK graduates are in non-graduate jobs. Too many graduates in non-professional jobs, HR body says. (THE).


According to a HEFCE study, Black and Asian UK academics were significantly less likely to be included in the 2014 REF than their white peers. The study reveals that just 35 per cent of black UK staff were selected for inclusion, a much lower proportion than peers who are white (56 per cent), Asian (56 per cent) or Chinese (68 per cent). Black and Asian scholars ‘less likely’ to have been submitted to the REF (THE).


EU Recruitment

UCAS data has revealed that the number of European Union applicants being accepted by English universities has risen dramatically following the lifting of number controls, prompting warnings about pressure on the student finance system. The data reveals that this year, higher education providers in England have placed 20,430 EU learners from outside the UK, 14 per cent more than at the same point last year. EU recruitment boom prompts student finance warning. (THE).


Graduate Employment

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England has critiqued the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s report from earlier in the week. He argues that the report appears short-sighted in its assumptions, as graduate employment opportunities are in fact improving.  It’s foolish to argue that we don’t need so many graduates in the UK (Guardian HE Network).