Policy Update

Technical education

HEFCE has published a report on employer demand for intermediate technical higher education. The report finds that employers generally recruit graduates from Level 6 for technician roles despite not requiring this level for the job, and this practice is increasing. Recruiting graduates from Level 6 is largely due to prestige of degrees and the ready supply of graduates. You can view the report here.

Safe spaces

Speaking during prime minister’s questions, Theresa May said it was “quite extraordinary” for universities to ban the discussion of certain topics which could cause offence. She warned that stifling free speech could have a negative impact on Britain’s economic and social success. Theresa May hits out at universities ‘safe spaces’ for stifling free speech.  (The Telegraph).  

 TEF panel members

The members of the Teaching Excellence Framework panel have been announced. The panel includes academics, students, employers and widening participation experts. It is said that the The Department for Education will likely make further appointments by the end of September to strengthen employer representation. You can view the list of panel members here.

 Research metrics

A new Forum for Responsible Metrics is being set up as a partnership between HEFCE, Research Councils UK, Wellcome, Universities UK and Jisc. The forum will develop a programme of activities to support the responsible use of research metrics in higher education institutions and across the research community in the UK. New Forum for Responsible Research Metrics launched (HEFCE).

 HEFCE stats

HEFCE has published its Higher education in England 2016: Key facts report. The report finds that approximately three-quarters of all undergraduate students are studying subjects in the arts, humanities and social sciences, while almost one in four postgraduate students is studying a business-related subject. You can view the report here.

 The Department for Education

The Department for Education has published data on initial participation rates for higher education from 2006/07 to 2014/15. The data finds that participation rates rose 1.7% between 2013/14 and 2014/15, with an increase of students across the majority of age groups. The report also estimates that there has been an increase of 1,900 mature students entering higher education between 2013/14 and 2014/5. You can view the report here.