HE Policy Update


Grant letter

HEFCE received the annual grant letter from BIS, covering 2016-17. The letter confirms moves to “retarget” student opportunity funding for the poorest students in the coming year ahead of future cuts. The grant letter also revealed that the teaching grant will be £1.539 billion in 2016-17, down from the £1.671 billion figure in last year’s grant letter. The letter also states that Hefce will take responsibility for delivering the TEF in Year 2. BIS grant letter asks Hefce to deliver TEF (THE).


Pay gap

According to data compiled by the University and College Union, the average gender pay gap in universities is £6,100 annually. According to the results, just eight universities pay women equally or more than men. Call for equal pay in universities (Research Professional).


Scotland HE Bill

A bill aimed at strengthening the management of higher education in Scotland has been passed at Holyrood. The Higher Education Governance Bill had proved controversial, with the government agreeing to cut some measures from the legislation. The bill modernises academic boards with elected chairs and an enhanced definition of academic freedom. Controversial higher education bill passed by MSPs (BBC).



Worries about the impact on research funding for British universities from a UK exit from the European Union have been “massively exaggerated”, according to Conservative MP Owen Paterson. Brexit research worries ‘massively exaggerated’, says Tory MP (THE).


The ‘What UK Thinks: EU Poll of Polls’ shows the average share of the vote for ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ in the six most recent polls of voting intentions in the EU Referendum. EU Referendum Poll of Polls. (What UK Thinks).

HE Bill

According to the Financial Times, the Prime Minister is understood to have ordered that a bill on higher education should be included in the Queen’s speech. The bill will include attempts to broaden access and create more competition between universities. (Please see pdf attached).

Immigration policy

International business students are being put off studying at UK universities because of stringent visa policies, a new report has claimed. Business schools: UK immigration policy sparks drop in students (THE).


HE Bill

The HE bill that is likely to remove barriers to new entrants to stimulate competition has been criticised by the University and College Union. Higher education bill mooted (Research Professional).

Student cap

The Economist looks at the effects of lifting the student cap in England and how different universities have responded. Stronger institutions, both new and old, are growing at the expense of weaker ones, says Emran Mian, Director of the Social Market Foundation. Open universities (The Economist).