HE Policy Update



HEFCE have advised that a Ucas-style national application system for taught postgraduate courses at UK universities should be adopted. Ucas-style system needed for postgraduate study, universities told (THE).


Labour Conference

At a fringe meeting at the Labour party conference, Paul Blomfield, the MP for Sheffield Central revealed that Labour will continue to look at a graduate tax. Labour’s new shadow higher education minister, Gordon Marsden, warned that the government’s planned Teaching Excellence Framework could create an apartheid between universities that teach and universities that research. Labour party conference 2015: debate focuses on abolition of tuition fees (THE).


Professional services firm Deloitte has changed its selection process so recruiters do not know where candidates went to school or university. This move hopes to prevent “unconscious bias” and tap a more diverse “talent pool”. Firm ‘hides’ university when recruits apply (BBC News).



A survey conducted by the Research Academy has revealed that nearly three-quarters of prospective and current students would be willing to pay higher fees if it guaranteed them a graduate-level job upon degree completion. Three-quarters of students would pay higher tuition fees for guaranteed job (THE).

Overseas Students

Louise Richardson, the upcoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford has claimed that the UK will be impoverished if students from other countries find it too costly, too difficult or too unwelcoming to travel to the UK to attend our universities. Louise Richardson: Reputation of UK universities at risk over policies on overseas students (THE).



HEFCE analysis reveals that four-fifths of UK students who graduated in the 2008 recession are now professionally employed or undertaking further study. Many graduates in professional jobs, figures show. (BBC News).


A leaked consultation on the future of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills suggests that November’s spending review will be accompanied by a radical overhaul of the research funding system. Sajid Javid’s blueprint for BIS heightens fears for research funding. (The Guardian).


Labour/Tuition fees

Jeremy Corbyn has shelved a proposal to scrap university tuition fees while he consults the rest of the Labour Party. Scrapping tuition fees was his first major policy statement and helped build support among young left-wingers. It would have been funded by either a 2.5% rise in corporation tax or a 7 per cent increase in National Insurance for those earning more than £50,000 a year. However, a spokesman for Mr Corbyn has since said: “All policy is up for discussion and there is a review of how we will set policy in the future.”  Could Jeremy Corbyn ‘do a Nick Clegg’ on tuition fees? (The Daily Telegraph).