HE Policy Update

Student Loans 

It has been reported that some graduates are not informed when their student loans have been paid off resulting in repayments being taken from their accounts, despite clearing their debt. Graduates who keep on paying after they’ve cleared their student debts (The Guardian).

Skills White Paper

BIS is planning to publish a Skills White Paper, which will propose the recommendations from a review into technical and professional education pathways led by Lord Sainsbury. No technical and professional education pilot until 2019/20 (FE Week).

OfS and UKRI

BIS have published their business cases for the Office for Students (OfS) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The documents reveal that the OfS will cost approximately £31 million to run annually, considerably more than the joint £26.6 million running costs of HEFCE and OFFA in 2015. BIS has also predicted a £4 million transitional cost falling in 2017-18 for setting up the UKRI.


UCAS have published their first equality reports for individual universities. This is the first time application and offer data at the institutional level has been made available and broken down by sex, ethnicity and socio-economic background. The data reveals there are many factors that can affect the statistics for individual universities, such as the courses they offer, where they are located, and how they assess different exam subjects. Universities will often have a student profile driven mainly by the demographics of the local population if that is their main recruitment area. You can view the data here.

Student Academic Experience

HEPI and HEA have published their annual findings from their report on the student academic experience. The report reveals that many students would opt for high contact hours above small class sizes. The report also reveals that students care about high-quality teaching and staff who continuously develop their skills. You can view the report here.

 Jo Johnson MP

The Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson spoke at a HEPI event focusing on the student journey. Jo Johnson set out the rationale for the HE reforms saying how students now expect to meet more of the costs of their education through their future earnings and therefore have a sharper eye for quality and value for money. You can read his full speech here.

EU research funding

UUK have published a report claiming that EU research funding generates more than 19,000 jobs across the UK, £1.86 billion for the UK economy and contributes more than £1 billion to GDP. You can view the report here.