HE Policy Update


Graduate Earnings

The Bank of England has said that those leaving university could expect to earn more over their working lives than people without academic qualifications, but that the wage premium had been cut from 45% to 34% between 1995 and 2015. Growth in university education is affecting graduate earning power (Guardian).


Degree Apprenticeships

A new report published by UUK encourages universities, government and employers to develop degree apprenticeships. The report finds that degree apprenticeships are particularly attractive to non-traditional students, providing an opportunity for universities to support widening participation goals. You can download the report here.



The Chancellor, George Osborne delivered the budget which revealed the following for higher education:

  • Direct government support will be available to adults wishing to study at any qualification level, from basic skills right the way up to PhD. During this parliament, loans will be introduced for level 3 to level 6 training in further education, part-time second degrees in STEM, and postgraduate taught master’s courses.
  • From 2018-19, loans of up to £25,000 will be available to any English student without a Research Council living allowance who can win a place for doctoral study at a UK university- a consultation will follow.
  • The government will also extend the eligibility of master’s loans to include three-year part-time courses with no full-time equivalent.
  • The government will continue to free up student number controls for alternative providers predominantly offering degree level courses for the 2017-18 academic year.
  • The government will bring together information about the wages of graduates of different courses and the financial support available across further and higher education to ensure that people can make informed decisions about the right courses for them.

You can view an article in the THE on the implications of the 2016 budget for HE here.


UK and China

Organisations in the UK and China have developed a statement of principles aimed at enhancing the quality of transnational education (TNE) programmes between the countries. UK and China agree deal on ‘high-quality’ cross-border education. (THE).

Department of Education

The Education white paper has confirmed a shift to school-led teacher training. The paper revealed that Universities can support teacher training by conducting excellent research but new teachers are best trained in schools. Back to Schools (Research Professional).


Sexual Violence

A taskforce set up to crack down on sexual violence on campus has recommended the overhaul of much-criticised rules governing how universities deal with allegations. University leaders call for new rules on sexual violence allegations. (The Guardian).  


HEFCE has today published its new model and framework for quality assessment in the UK. The proposals introduce a two-track assurance process for new and established providers which will apply as of 2017/18, with piloting to take place in 2016/17. The framework will apply to England and Northern Ireland, with the high-level proposals to be taken forward in Wales subject to further consultation. You can view the new model here.