HE Policy Update



The BIS select committee has published its report on The Teaching Excellence Framework: Assessing quality in Higher Education following its recent inquiry. The report recommends that government should provide further detail on the balance between qualitative and quantitative assessment in the TEF. The report also supports the principle of linking differentiated levels between teaching quality and fee level. The report argues that the quality assurance of universities should remain administratively and visibly independent from Government or the new regulator.

Higher Education Bill

The government looks set to introduce a higher education bill, possibly following a White Paper in May, with David Cameron said to be convinced of the need for legislation. Higher education bill ‘odds-on’ after Cameron backs legislation. (THE).

EU Referendum

The Observer has looked at how a Brexit would affect different aspects of society, including HE and research. What would Brexit mean for everyday life in the UK? (The Guardian).


Widening Participation

An article in the Guardian HE network looks at why white working class boys are put off going to university. The article reveals that the large amount of debt they will have is the main reason which is putting them off considering university. What puts working class boys off university? (Guardian Higher Education Network).


EU Students

The government is to make it harder for students from other European Union countries to get financial support for their living costs in England by extending UK residency requirements from three years to five years.

Crackdown on EU students’ support funding (BBC).


Women in Higher Education

Many more women are taking leadership positions in universities but still remain heavily outnumbered by men in higher education’s top jobs. More women in senior university jobs, says report (THE).


International Students

Vivienne Stern, Director of the International Unit, writes for WonkHE about the strengths and weaknesses of the UK HE system from the perspective of international students. We need to keep the UK’s competitive advantage (WonkHE).

Religion at Universities

It has been reported that Jewish students are avoiding universities due to perceived growing campus anti-Semitism. We cannot allow British universities to become bastions of religious segregation (Telegraph).


EU Referendum update

On 15 April the official “referendum period” begins and campaigning limits and restrictions are put in place.  The EU Referendum Act also compelled the Government to publish two reports by this date. The first, setting out the renegotiation outcomes and the Government’s opinion of it, was published last week. The second requires the Government to publish a report setting out the rights and obligations of UK citizens as members of the EU and provide examples detailing the arrangements of European countries that are not in the EU.


Purdah begins on 27 May. After this date, publically funded institutions are not able to publish any information promoting a view point on the referendum or the issues associated with it. This covers Westminster and Devolved ministers and departments and local authorities.


The BBC are televising three live debates on 19 May, 15 June and 21 June with the referendum taking place on 23 June. Results will be announced on 24 June.