Policy Update


Green Paper

The independent reports that Oliver Letwin, David Cameron’s policy advisor, thinks that green paper reforms, such as increasing tuition fees, could be introduced as secondary legislation rather than as an Act of Parliament. Government trying to ‘sneak’ tuition fee increases into controversial reforms (Independent).

State School Access

The latest Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission report has revealed that Oxford and Cambridge recruit a much lower proportion of state school pupils than their calculated benchmark suggests. Oxford and Cambridge condemned over failure to improve state school access (Guardian).



The president of the Higher Education Policy Institute has claimed that English universities are “not very good at teaching”. He said he welcomed the TEF because universities needed “a counterweight to the imperative to do research”. English universities ‘not very good at teaching’, says Hepi president (THE).

NHS Student Funding

The Guardian looks at the impact of replacing student nurse bursaries with loans, including the idea that this move will reduce the diversity of those able to access a career in healthcare. George Osborne considers axing student nurse bursaries (The Guardian).


University Research Funding

Baron Stern of Brentford, president of the British Academy, will lead a review into university research funding. The review will look at how to cut the “administrative burden” on academics and will also “strengthen the focus on excellence”. REF sceptic to lead review into research assessment (THE).



Following the publication of the UCAS 2015 End of Cycle Report, women are 35% more likely to start a degree course than their male counterparts. Among those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the report reveals that young women were 52% more likely to go into higher education than their male counterparts.  Women take record number of university places (BBC News).


Curriculum Design         

THE looks at the different ways in which students are helping to shape curriculum, teaching and assessment – leading to better teaching, more effective learning and graduates who are better prepared for the workplace. Should students be partners in curriculum design? (THE).