HE Policy Update

Social Mobility

An investigation by the House of Lords committee on social mobility has revealed that social mobility in Britain is hampered by a “culture of inequality” that penalises school leavers who enter the workforce rather than higher education. Social mobility hindered by ‘culture of inequality’ in school system – peers .(The Guardian).

Distance Learning

Open and distance learning universities must determine their “competitive advantage” rather than “parroting” that their value lies in convenience and flexibility, the director of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education has claimed. Distance learning universities ‘must prove their relevance (THE).

Graduate Earnings

According to a new report by the IFS, graduates from richer family backgrounds earn significantly more than their less wealthy counterparts, even when they take similar degrees from similar universities. You can view the report here.

International students

The Home Affairs Committee is to launch a formal inquiry into the Home Office’s treatment of international students after Home Secretary Theresa May wrongly deported almost 50,000 students in the wake of the TOEIC English exam scam. Home Office’s treatment of international students to be investigated in formal inquiry. (The Independent).


Research Professional reports that universities’ income from charities has grown at a much slower rate in the past five years than income from other UK-based funding sources. Slow growth for charity research spending (Research Professional).

Student Maintenance

In light of the government getting rid of maintenance grants, undergraduates at St John’s College, Cambridge University will be entitled to a non-repayable grant of £9,570 per year, aimed at covering their day-to-day living expenses, if their household income is below £25,000. Cambridge college to fund students living costs as Government scrap maintenance grants (The Telegraph).

Registering to Vote

Jo Johnson, the universities minister, has written to all vice-chancellors to ask for their support in encouraging all students to register to vote in the EU referendum. You can view the document here.