Category / Guidance

HE policy update for the w/e 4th April 2022

A slightly quieter time with the House of Commons on recess.

Before they went on recess, the Skills Bill finally made it over the line.  If you are wondering why we are focussing on school level education at the moment, the first item here will explain why, as the OfS provides more insight into its views on the role of universities in schools age attainment, driven by the government’s levelling up agenda.  In this context, there was controversy over whether T levels meet the needs of lower performing pupils (despite it being marketed as an alternative to academic study), and the Social Market Foundation believe current careers advice risks entrenching inequalities by steering people towards different educational and employment options according to their parents’ income and background.

Research

There’s an article on Research Professional about priorities for the Nurse review of research arrangements.  It flags five “blind spots”:

  • The productivity of R&D is falling
  • A more systemic approach to R&D – “A more strategic approach is needed that aligns technology development, regulation, policy and test beds, and engages the public
  • Mobilising intelligence – organising around data and knowledge not property and resources
  • Focus on adoption and diffusion
  • Addressing the gaps around social science – “The UK is good at monetising economics, psychology, behavioural science, ethnography, design and other fields, often through consultancies and advisory services or teams within companies large and small. But this happens despite, not because of, how research is organised” and “serious action to shift incentives for social scientists and mobilise them to help society think ahead”

UKRI has published an updated policy on the governance of good research practices that will apply to new and existing grants from 1 April 2022. Updates include:

  • revised text with improved clarity on the individual’s and organisation’s responsibility to enable positive research practice for high integrity research
  • a policy change that organisations must inform UKRI upon deciding to undertake formal investigations.
  • clearer text stating that we will only seek observer status on investigations by exception, with examples.
  • clarification that UKRI will not investigate cases but will check processes at an institutional level.

UKRI has also updated its full economic cost grant and training grant terms and conditions.

  • UKRI has added a new condition to reflect the statutory requirements introduced through the National Security and Investment Act 2021. Research organisations will need to ensure they follow the rules of this legislation. The legislation enables government to scrutinise and intervene in certain acquisitions that could harm the UKs national security.
  • Revisions have been made to the terms and conditions in response to the new UKRI open access policy, which will apply to in-scope research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022 and in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024. The publishing your research findingssection should be read alongside the policy for further information on open access and how to acknowledge a grant.
  • UKRI has added information to employment and staff costs to clarify its position on funding that is eligible and how UKRI continues to support research staff. The updatedfEC and training grant terms and conditions will take effect from 5 April 2022 and are now available

Ukraine and Russia: The Office for Students has compiled information on the Ukraine crisis for providers offering transnational education in Russia and on research collaborations with Russian institutions.

  • There are 775 Ukrainian and 3,030 Russian students studying at English universities and colleges.
  • In addition, some English universities and colleges offer transnational education. There are 267 students studying in Ukraine and 3,113 students studying in Russia in this type of provision.

Wonkhe report that around 30 British universities have expressed interest in joining a new scheme which would see them twinned with an institution in Ukraine. As part of the scheme, universities may host academics and run summer schools for students to assist in catching up on lost learning. There is also discussion of providing Ukrainian academics with “ac.uk” email addresses to enable them to allow them access to resources. The scheme is supported by Universities UK and is being run by Cormack Consultancy Group. iNews has the story.

The OfS has published the interim outcomes of 20 projects that it has funded to develop and share understanding of effective practice in student engagement in knowledge exchange.

Parliamentary Questions

Money, money, money

There is an updated House of Commons library research briefing on student loan statistics.

The IfS have looked at the inflation rate and warned about the impact on student loans.  Although this doesn’t change the position that graduate repayments are linked to salary and therefore a lot of this high interest will not be paid at all but will just increase the government write off, it is still unhelpful, because of applicant perceptions and risk aversion.  And increasing the government write off doesn’t help their perception of the cost of HE either (see charts above).

  • English and Welsh graduates who took out a student loan since 2012 are in for a rollercoaster ride on student loan interest rates in the coming years. Today’s reading for RPI inflation means that the maximum interest rate, which is charged to current students and graduates earning more than £49,130, will rise from its current level of 4.5% to an eye-watering 12% for half a year unless policy changes (the interest rates for low earners will rise from 1.5% to 9%). This means that with a typical loan balance of around £50,000, a high-earning recent graduate would incur around £3,000 in interest over six months – more than even someone earning three times the median salary for recent graduates would usually repay during that time.
  • The maximum student loan interest rate is then likely to fall to around 7% in March 2023 and fluctuate between 7 and 9% for a year and a half; in September 2024, it is then predicted to fall to around 0% before rising again to around 5% in March 2025. These wild swings in interest rates will arise from the combination of high inflation and an interest rate cap that takes half a year to come into operation. Without the cap, maximum interest rates would be 12% throughout the 2022/23 academic year and around 13% in 2023/24. While interest rates affect all borrowers’ loan balances, they only affect actual repayments for the typically high-earning graduates that will pay off their loans.
  • This interest rate rollercoaster will cause problems. The way the interest rate cap currently operates disadvantages borrowers with falling debt balances for no good reason. Perhaps more importantly, sky-high interest rates may put some prospective students off going to university; some graduates will likely feel compelled to pay off their loans even when this has no benefit for them.

Fees and funding – Research Professional has an interview with Philip Augar

Financial pinch: Wonkhe – Students from England beginning higher education courses in September will see the largest ever real-terms cut in a single year, according to analysis highlighted in the New Statesman. The real-terms cut in maintenance support of 7 per cent comes in addition to the continued freeze of the income threshold required to qualify for the maximum maintenance support. And a new blog on a related topic – For Claire Callender, proposals that limit eligibility for student loans undermine recent rhetoric on levelling-up.

There’s a Wonkhe blog by David Kernohan on “what happens when providers run out of money” looking at processes and some examples: “Market exit, in other words, has still not been normalised. As much as we might pretend that the invisible hand makes the decisions – provider monitoring, insolvency, and student support – the actuality of the process remains as messy and human as it ever was. The pre-OfS strategy – of selectively limiting provider borrowing, loosely controlling provider growth and shrinkage, and (yes!) selectively bailing out providers if this was needed to protect the interests of students or applicants – feels like a more honest approach.”

Levelling Up

The Institute for Government (IfG) published Will the levelling up missions help reduce regional inequality? concluding that the Government’s 12 levelling up ‘missions’ – targets to be achieved by 2030 across a range of policy areas from crime to health to housing – will not reduce regional inequality. The IfG finds that only four of the 12 missions are clear, ambitious and have appropriate metrics against which the government will measure and demonstrate progress by 2030. IfG state the other eight missions need to be recalibrated if they are to deliver on the government’s promises to level up the UK. The IfG also calls on the government to put the right systems in place to ensure that ministers and civil servants are held accountable for progress on the levelling up agenda. They believe the proposed Levelling Up Advisory Council cannot provide rigorous expert advice and scrutiny when it operates only at the discretion of the government and cannot perform independent analysis. And without any idea of which departments are leading the coordination of policy contributing to each mission, it will be harder to hold government accountable if things are off track. 

The IfS press release summarises their main findings:

  • Five of the missions are not ambitious enough, meaning that little or no change would be needed to meet them. For example, one metric requires that pay increases in every region by 2030, but this is almost certain to happen regardless of policy.  
  • Three missions are too ambitious to be realistic, which will also fail to inspire policy action. For example, meeting the target of 90% of students achieving the expected standard by age 11 will be virtually impossible. 
  • Four of the missions do not define what success really looks like, making it hard for actors within and outside government to know what they need to do to make progress. For example, it is not clear what the government means by a ‘globally competitive city’, but one of the missions sets a target to have one in every region of the UK by 2030. 
  • Two of the missions have too narrow a focus, and risk diverting attention and resources away from other outcomes that would contribute to levelling up. 
  • One mission (on R&D spending) does not align with the overall objective of levelling up to reduce regional disparities. 
  • Important objectives, such as simplifying funding for local government, are not currently part of the proposed metrics. Other metrics, such as those on pay and productivity, are due to be tracked only over large geographic regions despite the white paper acknowledging significant inequalities within these regions.  

And while we are on the topic of levelling up, a key part of the government agenda is on part-time and mature students, with an ongoing consultation on the lifelong loan entitlement.  There is a House of Commons research briefing on part-time students.

Schools, skills and qualifications

Universities working with schools: The OfS published an insight brief Schools, attainment and the role of higher education providing examples and commentary on some the work HE providers are already doing in schools to raise attainment. BU’s books and stories scheme is celebrated on page 5.

  • Raising the expectations(rather than simply the aspirations) of pupils and their parents, teachers and guardians. Findings from the formative evaluation of the Uni Connect programme show that 79% of participants who responded to the survey had increased expectations for the future, while 94% had better knowledge of higher education options.
  • Appointing ‘influencers’ and running dedicated open days and interactive events for pupils with experience of local authority care.
  • Sponsoring local schools, as 73 universities and colleges reported in their 2019-20 access and participation plans that they were doing or about to do. Some have set up maths schools, such as the Exeter Maths School sponsored by the University of Exeter and Exeter College. The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts has incorporated a primary school and a sixth form college into its LIPA Learning Group. Bridgwater and Taunton College sponsors a multi-academy trust.
  • Running summer school programmes for school pupils. Evidence suggests that participating in summer schools is associated with greater confidence and increased aspiration, and with higher GCSE grades and rates of progression to higher education.
  • Programmes of intervention in schools to raise attainment. The Education Endowment Foundation has rated interventions related to metacognition and self-regulation as highly impactful, and some universities and charities take this approach to raising attainment. Others focus their interventions on improvements to subject knowledge or to grades and capabilities e.g. BU’s Books and Stories programme which increased the reading age of participants.
  • Supporting attainment at Level 3through Access to HE courses taught in further education colleges.
  • Providing initial teaching training and continuing professional development to teachers. The Sutton Trust found that ‘for poor pupils the difference between a good teacher and a bad teacher is a whole year’s learning’. A separate report also found six teacher characteristics associated with increased attainment, including a strong pedagogical knowledge. Evidence shows that high quality continuing professional development has an average effect on pupil attainment equivalent to a month of extra learning.
  • Broadening the available routes into higher education to include short courses and apprenticeships. Over 100 universities and colleges offer degree apprenticeships, but some young people lack the knowledge to make an informed choice. With strategic partnerships, providers can show how diverse the sector is and help young people to choose a path to a successful career.
  • Staff and alumni involvement in school governor structures. For example, the University of Manchester has a longstanding staff and alumni school governor initiative. The university recently conducted an impact study showing that, if all universities in England and Wales adopted the initiative, they could fill more than 10 per cent of the current nationwide school governor vacancies.
  • Access and outreach work, which is often collaborative and can contain elements of raising attainment. For example, in the National Outreach Coverage project, between 2017-18 and 2019-20 over 80,000 activities related to skills and attainment were reported through tracking services in England.

New Government dashboard for pupils: Skills Minister, Alex Burghart, spoke at a Policy Exchange event stating that the new ‘Unit for Future Skills’ will begin publishing data in April. The Unit was announced in the Levelling Up White paper and is expected to be cross-government, publicly accessible, and produce information on local skills demand, future skills needs of businesses and the pathways between training and good jobs. A DfE spokesperson told news outlet FE Week that the unit would take over the work of the DfE’s skills and productivity board once its schedule of reports had been completed.

Data provided through a central-government dashboard will inform prospective learners whether peers taking a certain qualification in health and social care go on to work in health and social care, or whether they ultimately work in retail. The Government hopes the dashboard will improve the quality of information available to school pupils.

In response to a question from the audience about the timescales attached to the UFS, the minister said his department will be starting to release data this month, but was keen to stress that it will be on an “iterative basis” and so would only be “an indicator of the sorts of things we can start doing over time.”

Burghart also commented that a reduction in undergraduate numbers would be a good thing.

  • Perceptions of post-18 study are shifting. And they are shifting I think for the better.
  • I would not be at all surprised if, in 10 years’ time, many more people are choosing to become apprentices after leaving school or college – and that the consequence of this may be that there are slightly fewer undergraduates. I consider that to be a good thing. Now, I believe in the importance of universities and the power of university degrees. But I know they are not the be all and end all.
  • As I said at the start, I taught and lectured for a number of years in some wonderful universities. I was lucky enough to teach some very bright people. But it was clear that not all of them wanted to be at university, a number were there by default, because their parents wanted them to be there, or because they felt they had no other ladders to a good career.
  • Apprenticeships have the potential to create some of those other ladders. In doing so, they can help to transform opportunity. The chance to earn while you learn, to get a three-year head start on your undergraduate friends in the workplace, to build networks, experience, to not run up debt. They are surely a huge part of the future of skills. 

Careers advice: The Social Market Foundation (SMF) published new research demonstrating that careers advice and guidance risks entrenching inequality by steering people towards different educational and employment options according to their parents’ income and background. The report examines school leavers and adult learners’ experiences of careers information, advice and guidance (IAG) in England. SMF say it presents new evidence on the way that people engage with IAG and they make a number of policy recommendations to increase the personalisation, accountability, and accessibility of IAG.

Key findings:

  • The shape and quality of IAG services is patchy, varying substantially across and within schools and colleges
  • Support for those pursuing vocational options tends to be weaker, with students carried towards university by inertia
  • People tend to favour anecdotal information over hard data, but even those using formal information make limited use of government sources
  • There is a mismatch between the grand ambitions of IAG, and what users expect from it. Careers professionals view it as long-term career planning and skills development, whereas receivers tend to just want help with the next step.
  • Adults are largely unaware of IAG services and face significant barriers to accessing them

Six actions policymakers can take:

  1. Ensure every school leaver receives a minimum level of personalised careers support by offering an entitlement to three one-to-one sessions.
  2. Add careers provision to the four ‘key judgements’ on which schools are graded in Ofsted inspections.
  3. Set the Careers and Enterprise Company the objective of tackling inequalities between schools in the level and quality of information, advice and guidance.
  4. Aim to ensure all apprenticeship opportunities are listed on the UCAS system, perhaps by establishing and integrating local platforms.
  5. Partner with trusted private apps and websites to ensure official government data and information is easily accessible.
  6. Engage in a large-scale outreach programme promoting adult education and careers services.

There’s a Wonkhe blog on careers support here from Jon down of Grit Breakthrough programmes:

  • 98 per cent of careers professionals in universitiesfeel students do not engage with career development activities and 27 per cent of students believe that the biggest obstacle to future career success is not knowing what field to go into.
  • .. If we are to drive up engagement with career development activities, it seems clear that universities need to give thought to supporting students develop the confidence to make full use of their employability offers. As a starting point, this might include:
    • Creating experiences that raise young people’s self-awareness so they can articulate their unique combination of knowledge, experience, and attributes, and the contribution they can make.
    • Coaching students to arrive at their own goals and support them in building the resources to achieve them, rather than simply imparting information, guidance, and advice.
    • Reframing support so it is not all about finding a lifeline in a crisis but instead is about gathering what you need to be a success

T level criticism: The completion of the Bill won’t be popular with all. Lord Baker has spoken out to criticism the current T levels as too academic and not serving important elements of the UK population. Lord Baker is a former secretary of state for education and science (1986-1989) and was integral to the introduction of GCSE exams.

During a select committee hearing Lord Baker stated that the Schools White Paper should have promoted a skills-rich curriculum, as well as one that focused on knowledge. He outlined his surprise at how modest the paper was, with the focus centring on the improvement of literacy and numeracy, and stated he did not agree with the idea of raising the goal of the average grade to 5 from 4.5 as that would further disadvantage certain students.

On T levels Lord Baker explained that they had introduced new T Levels at his University Technical Colleges 18 months ago, and that his trust had found they were more suited to academically able students. He highlighted to the Committee that of the ten pupils who started, three dropped out because they weren’t academically up to it, and they were people who got below a seven in GCSEs. He went on to assert that he thought the T Levels were suited to students who were achieving above a seven in GCSE.

Lord Baker emphasised that education policy should be focused on the “bottom third” of students across the country who do not pass GCSE English and maths (at level 4 or above), and that there had been no progress for this group for over a decade. He added that the curriculum reforms introduced by former education secretary Michael Gove from 2014 had not improved outcomes for low-attaining students and stated this was one of the reasons why youth unemployment in the UK was double that of Germany.

Overall his view is that T levels are not suited to over a third of the UK child population and result in drop outs.  – a blot on the Government’s quality landscape, particularly at a time when they are pushing regulators to threaten punitive action for HE providers with higher dropout rates.

Meanwhile Wonkhe covered a new apprenticeships report: the apprenticeships system favours those from professional backgrounds and wealthy areas, according to a report published by think tank Onward. The research identifies a reduction in the number of people taking entry-level apprenticeships as businesses use their levy funds to support existing staff. The report’s recommendations include fully funding apprenticeships for those aged 16-18, giving mayors more responsibility to support SMEs to take on apprentices, and providing financial incentives for businesses to take on new apprentices.

And with all that in mind, the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill finally passed: Last week we highlighted that the prorogation of Parliament would mean all Bills that weren’t finalised would have to navigate a carry over process to avoid being lost. One hanging in the balance was the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill – stuck in the “ping pong” tussle between the Lords and the Commons over the withdrawal of BTEC qualifications. The Government heaved a sigh of relief as, at the last minute, the Lords conceded and dropped the disagreement over Amendment 15B which called for a 3-year wait before removing funding from applied level 3 qualifications (BTECs). Government Education Minister, Baroness Barran, calmed the discontent by playing down the implications and making small concessions. Key points from her speech:

  • Last November, the Education Secretary announced an additional year before funding would be removed from qualifications that overlap with T Levels, and the government have also removed the English and maths exit requirement from T Levels
  • A further delay will not benefit providers, AOs, employers or students – stakeholders need clarity on implementation timescales
  • Applied generals, such as BTECs, will have an important role to play alongside T Levels
  • To be approved for funding in future, quals will need to meet new “quality and necessity” criteria – students will be able to continue to take Applied Generals, including BTECs, alongside A Levels, as part of a mixed programme
  • Stressed they were not creating a binary system, but wanted students to be able to choose from a high-quality mixed system
  • Around 1,800 qualifications have low or no enrolments and will therefore have funding removed from August 2022
  • The next phase of reforms will be to consider qualifications that overlap with T Levels – they anticipate they will remove funding for “just a small proportion” of the total Level 3 offer, including BTECS: “This will be significantly less than half” she added
  • Expect to publish the list in due course, and there will be an opportunity for awarding organisations to appeal a quals inclusion on the list.
  • Qualifications identified as overlapping with waves 1 and 2 of T Levels will not have funding removed until 2024/25.
  • Qualifications identified as overlapping with waves 3 and 4 of T Levels will not have funding removed until 2025/26.
  • Employers will now have the opportunity to say if they believe quals support entry to occupations not covered by T Levels.
  • The new Unit for Future Skills, announced in the Levelling Up White Paper, will have a role to play in gathering evidence and regularly assessing the quality of qualifications.

All Peers also received a letter from the Education Secretary stating that all qualifications, including BTECs, have an important role to play in the education ecosystem, and appeared to ease off on the A Level/T Level binary approach.  Lord Blunkett, the architect of the troublesome amendment welcomed the Government’s small concessions.  In short, this means the Skills Bill now awaits the Royal Assent rubber stamp and will become an Act of Parliament.

Anti-Semitism

Wonkhe: Lord John Mann has been appointed to set up a new task force of senior ministers and MPs to look into the treatment of Jewish students in UK universities. Speaking at the Jerusalem Post London conference yesterday, Mann said the working group would “listen” to the voices of Jewish students. Justice minister Lord Wolfson also spoke at the conference, insisting that the IHRA definition of antisemitism does not shut down free speech. Jewish News has the story.

Wonkhe also report on The Times coverage that higher and further education minister Michelle Donelan is “considering a range of possible measures” against NUS following concerns about antisemitism within the organisation. Jewish News cover the calls from Lord Mann to not recognise NUS as the representative of student voice if things do not change, and an open letter from Lancaster University’s Students’ Union expressing concern over antisemitism in NUS.   The NUS have published a statement here.

Access & Participation

Parliamentary Question: the benefits of students having at least one family member who attended university, and whether it should be declared on applications if someone is a first generation HE student.

Disabled Students’ Commission

Wonkhe report on the Disabled Students’ Commission publication of its second annual report: It reports a degree awarding gap for disabled students of 1.1 per cent in 2020-21 – driving a Commission focus on improving the disabled student experience. The report highlights the ongoing challenges faced by disabled students, and recommends increased consultation and communication with students, consistent approaches to support across and between higher education providers, more flexibility in teaching, learning, and assessment, and offering certainty for disabled students that they will get the support they need.

Disability Voice Blog: Wonkhe inform that the blog of the Association of National Teaching Fellows (NTF) has a piece on amplifying disabled student voices.

Other news

Graduate outcomes: an interesting blog by Charlie Ball of JISC on Wonkhe.  In the light of all the government talk about poor graduate outcomes …how we can be in a situation where one group of stakeholders can hold the view that there are too many people going to university, and others can have spent many years worrying that they cannot find the graduates that they need to thrive.. Well, yes, good question.  The suggested answer is that we need more data.

Dropping out: Wonkhe have a quick write up following DfE drop out news – Higher and further education minister Michelle Donelan has written on the DfE’s Education Hub blog about how the drop-out rates of students in the 2019-20 cohort has fallen below ten per cent for the first time. However, Donelan attributes this to the government’s recent push to drive up quality. On Wonk Corner, DK questions how recent policy announcements could have impacted on events in the past.

Admissions: In the context of the new UUK admissions code, there is a Wonkhe blog: Do applicants who end up on a course generally meet the entry requirements of that course? Jane White shares evidence that very often this is not the case

Hygge: A neat piece from Wonkhe on the benefits of the Danish hygge for students.

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The new UKRI Open Access Policy

UKRI just released its open access policy - Creative Commons

As of 1st April 2022, the new UKRI Open Access Policy became effective.

This policy applies to publications which need to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its councils. This includes funding from:

  • the research councils
  • Research England
  • Innovate UK.

The policy applies to the following types of publication, when they are required to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its constituent councils

a. Peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews and conference papers, that are accepted for final publication in either a journal, conference proceeding with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), or publishing platform

b. Monographs, book chapters and edited collections, as defined at Annex 1 of the policy document (the policy will only apply to these publication types after 1 January 2024)

For research articles, these are the key things you need to know – 

  • the policy applies to all research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022
  • there are two different compliant routes to open access
  • Route 1 – Publish your research article open access in a journal or publishing platform which makes the Version of Record (VOR)(also known as the final published version) immediately open access via its website
    • The VOR must be free and unrestricted to view and download. It must have a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI (see the policy for more information)
    • The research article must be made open access in a journal or publishing platform that facilitate access, discovery and reuse
  • Route 2 – Publish your research article in a subscription journal (also known as hybrid journal) and deposit the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (or if the publisher permits, you can upload the VOR) in an institutional repository (in our case, this would be BURO – Bournemouth University Research Online, and the deposit is done via BRIAN), or a subject repository at the same time of final publication, as defined at Annex 1.
    • The deposited version must be free and unrestricted to view and download. It must have a CC BY licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI
    • A publisher-requested delay or ’embargo period’ between publication of the Version of Record and open access of the deposited version is not permitted.
    • The research article must be made open access in a repository that facilitate access, discovery and reuse

For more details on the policy requirements, please refer to the UKRI Open Access policy website.

If you are a UKRI grant holder and you are unsure about what you should do to comply, please email your questions to OpenAccess@bournemouth.ac.uk

Latest BU publication on academic writing

Today the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology published our latest paper on academic writing, under the title ‘The Art of the Editorial’. [1]  This editorial highlights the importance of writing and publishing editorials in scientific journal.  Writing editorials seems sometimes to be a dying art.  This is perhaps due to more and more online journals not publishing regular issues, but adding papers online as and when they have been reviewed, revised and accepted. This paper is co-authered by Bournemouth University’s Professors Vanora Hundley and Edwin van Teijlingen, two of their four co-authors are also BU Visiting Faculty: Prof. Padam Simkhada based at the University of Huddersfield and Dr. Brijesh Sathian based in the Geriatric Medicine Department, Rumailah Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar.  This paper is an Open Access publication.

This paper on the art of writing editorials follows on from a series of papers on a wide-range of aspects of academic writing and publishing by FHSS (Faculty of Health & Social Sciences) authors [2-18].  FHSS co-authors on aspects of academic writing include: Dr. Orlanda Harvey [2], Dr. Pramod Regmi [2-3,4,16], Prof. Vanora Hundley [1,3,5,6,12-14], Dr. Nirmal Aryal [3-4], and Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhihari [4,16], Dr. Preeti Mahato [3,16].

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V, Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., Robinson, J., Banerjee, I. (2022) The Art of the Editorial Nepal J Epidemiol12(1): 1135–38.
  2. Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, A., Regmi, P.R., Ireland, J., Rijal, A., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2022) Co-authors, colleagues, and contributors: Complexities in collaboration and sharing lessons on academic writing Health Prospect 21(1):1-3.
  3. Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V. with Shreesh, K. (2022) Writing and Publishing Academic Work, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books
  4. van Teijlingen, E.R., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, A., Aryal, N., Panday, S. (2021). Publishing, identifiers & metrics: Playing the numbers game. Health Prospect20(1). https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v20i1.37391
  5. Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Simkhada, BD. (2013) Writing an Abstract for a Scientific Conference, Kathmandu Univ Med J 11(3): 262-65. http://www.kumj.com.np/issue/43/262-265.pdf
  6. van Teijlingen, E, Hundley, V. (2002) Getting your paper to the right journal: a case study of an academic paper, J Advanced Nurs 37(6): 506-11.
  7. Pitchforth, E, Porter M, Teijlingen van E, Keenan Forrest, K. (2005) Writing up & presenting qualitative research in family planning & reproductive health care, Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 31(2): 132-135.
  8. van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, PP, Rizyal A (2012) Submitting a paper to an academic peer-reviewed journal, where to start? (Guest Editorial) Health Renaissance 10(1): 1-4.
  9. van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada. PP, Simkhada, B, Ireland J. (2012) The long & winding road to publication, Nepal Epidemiol 2(4): 213-215 http://nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/7093/6388
  10. Hundley, V, van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, P (2013) Academic authorship: who, why and in what order? Health Renaissance 11(2):98-101 www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Download/vol-11-2/Page_99_101_Editorial.pdf
  11. Simkhada P, van Teijlingen E, Hundley V. (2013) Writing an academic paper for publication, Health Renaissance 11(1):1-5. www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Pp_1_5_Guest_Editorial.pdf
  12. van Teijlingen, E., Ireland, J., Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., Sathian, B. (2014) Finding the right title for your article: Advice for academic authors, Nepal Epidemiol 4(1): 344-347.
  13. van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Bick, D. (2014) Who should be an author on your academic paper? Midwifery 30: 385-386.
  14. Hall, J., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) The journal editor: friend or foe? Women & Birth 28(2): e26-e29.
  15. Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Roy, B, Banerjee, I. (2016) Grant writing for innovative medical research: Time to rethink. Med Sci 4(3):332-33.
  16. Adhikari, S. D., van Teijlingen, E. R., Regmi, P. R., Mahato, P., Simkhada, B., & Simkhada, P. P. (2020). The Presentation of Academic Self in The Digital Age: The Role of Electronic Databases. International J Soc Sci Management7(1), 38-41. https://doi.org/10.3126/ijssm.v7i1.27405
  17. Pradhan, AK, van Teijlingen, ER. (2017) Predatory publishing: a great concern for authors, Med Sci 5(4): 43.
  18. van Teijlingen, E (2004), Why I can’t get any academic writing done, Medical Sociol News 30(3): 62-63. britsoc.co.uk/media/26334/MSN_Nov_2004.pd

BU’s new Read and Publish deal with Cambridge University Press

We have a new Read and Publish deal with Cambridge. By entering the location and institution you will see the publishing agreement as below and also have links to eligible journals.

To be eligible, articles must:

New Intention to Bid and Bid Enquiry Process

Following the announcement of the new electronic ITB form on 24 January 2022, these are some updates since the launch.

The new ITB form and Enquiry service will provide a better user experience and create a more efficient administrative control process for Research Development and Support (RDS).

 

New ITB form: The new Intention to Bid (ITB) form and the updated Research Costings Request Sheet are both available now in the Policies & Procedures/Research/Pre-award section of the intranet under Research > Pre-award. Please complete the Research Costings Request Sheet and attach it to the e-ITB form for completion. PDF copies of all submissions can be printed or saved but there are limitations to editing a form once it has been submitted.

 

Bid Enquiry Process: If you have more than 4 weeks to the submission deadline and need advice or support regarding a bid, please access the same form link and select ‘Enquiry/Advice on Bidding’. This ensures that the pre-award team will see your Enquiry, rather than emailing a sole officer who may not be available at the time.

 

As a service, RDS is committed to delivering service excellence to enable BU’s academic community to deliver and grow world-leading research for societal benefit. The program of work continues to look at processes to enhance the user experience.

 

Changes include improvements to the pre- and post-award support being offered. Building on the delivery of a new Principal Investigator report which is currently in the final stages of being rolled out, and continuing our collaboration with the Transformation Team.

 

For any queries about the transformation of pre-award services at BU, please contact Jo Garrad or Brian Kaliczynskyj to discuss further.

For any technical issues in relation to the form, please contact Roy Harvey directly.

Updated HRA amendment tool now live

Please see below and note that from now any amendment made should be using version 1.6 of the document.

‘What: An updated amendment tool has been released for use when submitting amendments for health research studies

Who: All researchers and sponsors

When: Released 6 December

We’ve also made some other changes to the amendment tool to make it easier to use including:

  • improved guidance in the submission tab
  • changes to the radio selection buttons to make it clearer to complete and view once converted to a pdf
  • changes to help users avoid common mistakes

You can get all details on the changes we’ve made in the Change Record in General Guidance tab on the tool. Please start to use the new version (1.6) for all new amendments from 6 December 2021. We will continue to accept amendments using version 1.5 for two weeks. We will not accept amendments submitted on V1.5 after 20 December 2021.’

Please see this link for further information.

Peer-reviewing ten years on

The process of peer review is widely recognised as the key element of quality control in academic publishing and the scientific community more generally.  Peer review is the critical appraisal of one’s work by fellow scholars, who read and comment on your manuscript and offered a verdict on its quality, rigour, originality, style, completeness, etc. etc.

Peer reviewers are typically experts in your field, if not your topic, or who have expertise in the methods you applied or the population or are you studied.  They are also academics often with busy day jobs, who act as unpaid peer reviewers, and as journal editors for that matter.  Peer reviewers are with full-time jobs who give up their free time to review for academic journals.  A recent article by Aczel and colleagues (2021) reported that reviewers across the globe spent over 100 million hours on peer reviewing for free in 2020, the estimated value of this equated to nearly £300 million in the UK alone.  This quantifies in some of my feelings I wrote about a decade ago now in a BU Research Blog with the title ‘Peer review and bust academics’.

However, with the ever-growing number of health and social science journals the requests for reviewing seem to grow relentlessly.  This month alone (November 2021) I received twenty or 21 requests to review.  I have reviewed three manuscripts for Birth, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, and The Journal of International Development, but I had to reject or ignore many more (see Table 1).  I usually do my reviews over the weekend.  One weekend this month I could not review because I had to prepare materials for the external auditor who came to visit Bournemouth University for a project recently completed, and this weekend I could not find the time because I’m proof-reading two PhD chapters (and writing this blog).

I leave you with some food for thought: academics spent time applying for research funding, then apply for the ethical approval, do the research, we write up the findings, and write blogs about the process!

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)

 

Reference:

Aczel, B., Szaszi, B., Holcombe, A.O. (2021) A billion-dollar donation: estimating the cost of researchers’ time spent on peer review. Res Integr Peer Rev 6, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-021-00118-2.

What do teachers say about the impact of technology on children and young people’s emotions and behaviours?

Dr Constantina Panourgia and Dr Sarah Hodge from the Department of Psychology, in collaboration with Dr Annita Ventouris from the University of West London carried out a research project during the pandemic and published a paper on teachers’ views on how use of technology affects children and young people’s (CYP) emotions and behaviours in the International Journal Of Educational Research.

 

During the lockdown the use of technology among CYP was increased raising concerns and questions related to their mental health and wellbeing. Previous research findings on the effects of technology on CYP’s emotions and behaviours are contradictory. Parents/guardians and educators may feel uncertain as to how to integrate technology in CYP’s lives in an effective and healthy way, emphasizing the necessity for consistent and evidence-based guidelines and policies. The researchers, decided to focus and investigate teachers’ perspectives considering their vital role in supporting CYP’s wellbeing and learning. Although there is a lot of evidence on technology use in schools, there is little to no research on how teachers view the use of technology by CYP and how it affects their emotions and behaviours.

 

The findings of this study showed teachers viewed technology as an important learning and teaching tool, when applied in a balanced way. Teachers also recognised the negative consequences of the ‘digital divide’ (from access related to social economic status) on CYP’s emotions and behaviours. However, they expressed contradictory opinions on issues related to the impact of technology on socialisation/isolation and self-esteem.

The findings of this study can provide insights into how technology can be used effectively in the classroom and for supporting CYP’s mental health and wellbeing; they also indicated training needs for educators and the need for the implementation or modification of relevant practices (e.g. technology training within teacher training) and policies (e.g. addressing the digital divide). It is suggested that future studies should explore the views of teachers working in deprived areas and in Special Educational Needs schools so that the implementation of current policies and practices is reassessed. As well as, parents/guardians and CYP’s perceptions need to be explored to complement teachers’ perceptions and lead to the development of educational practices based on the stakeholders’ experiences.

 

View the full paper here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666374021000510

 

Bidding for external research funds?

The good news is that a lot of BU’s academics are bidding for external research funding. Our numbers of bids in preparation is up by 20% on pre-pandemic levels. This is helping BU build a healthy and sustainable pipeline to good quality research.

If you’re planning to submit a bid, you’ll need to be aware of the application timeline and the various processes involved in the submission of a bid. Please ensure you read the application timeline when considering what to apply for (in addition to RDS, the following BU teams may need to be involved: UET, Legal Services, Finance). In short, a fully completed intention to bid form must be received by RDS at least four weeks before the funder call deadline.

Unfortunately, due to the high volume being processed at present (and staff shortages), we will be unable to accommodate any bids under the notice period.

Here are a few tips on what you can do to ensure a smoother process and good quality bid:

  • Please read the funder guidance to ensure that you are eligible to apply, the deadline is doable, and that the funding provided will be financially acceptable to BU (the costing and pricing guide for R&KE activity will help, as will the fEC thresholds);
  • If partners are involved, you need to ensure you have these in place as their costings will need to be included in the bid. If they are international or industrial, due diligence may need to take place at pre-award stage and so a longer lead time will be needed (we’ve produced a Leading an external research application guide, which will be useful to you when partners are involved);
  • Ensure your intention to bid (ItB) form is fully completed before submitting to RDS. This saves on multiple email exchanges to finalise the form (we’ve created sample costs to help you get an idea of budget and whether what you need to complete your research is achievable with the funding on offer);
  • Finally, run your ideas/draft bid past your peers, research mentor, or Head of Department. Constructive criticism will help improve the quality of your bid and reduce the need for last minute changes. If you have a long lead in time, an RDS Research Facilitator may be able to help review your bid content, or one of our External Application Reviewers (EARs) may be able to critique it (please see here for more information on which bids are eligible for an EAR).

Good luck and thanks from all in RDS.

Health Research Authority – new final report requirements

Please see below for an update from the HRA –

Changes to the way you submit your final report

The Health Research Authority has implemented changes to final study reporting requirements. The changes apply to all studies across the UK which require ethics approval and which have not yet submitted a final report.

The Make It Public strategy set out our commitment to make transparency easy, make transparency the norm and make information public. We have now developed a standard dataset on research transparency which will be collected in the study final reports. Coupled with changes we have already made to help you plan at the start of a study how you will inform participants at the end, these changes are steps towards fulfilling that commitment.

In the future we will be able to see more clearly what proportion of studies are fulfilling transparency requirements, including information about study registration, publication of results, informing participants of the outcome of the study and the sharing of data and tissue (if applicable).

In standardising the information we request from you and the form for collecting this, we hope it will be easier for you to know what is expected.

If you have any questions, please email research.transparency@hra.nhs.uk

NIHR Research Design Service – Starting Research Workshop

Please see below for the following training opportunity:

Date: 15 September 2021
Time: 09:15-13:30
Location: Online

Funded and hosted by the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) South Central, discover how to move from thinking about doing research to taking your first steps in the getting support, dedicated time and funding to actually do it. Sign up to the workshop on Eventbrite.

Health Research Authority’s new student research eligibility criteria – live from today

New eligibility criteria for standalone student research go live today (1 September 2021). These changes are designed to ensure that students’ experience of research reflects how modern health and social care research is conducted.

This new criteria encourages innovative approaches to student research like group research, mock Research Ethics Committees (REC) or shadowing a range of people in an existing project.

The changes mean some master’s students will now be eligible to apply for approval to carry out their research.

To help students plan their research we have created a new student research toolkit. The toolkit has been designed to pull together the resources a student will need to understand what approvals are required and whether they are eligible to carry out their research in the UK.  It contains links to existing decision tools as well as some new ones developed especially for students. It uses a simple question and answer format and will provide answers to the following questions:

  • Is my study research?
  • Is my research taking place in the NHS and will it need NHS approval?
  • Do I need NHS REC review?
  • What type of NHS ethics review do I need?
  • Can I carry out my research?

Completing the tool will provide students with an understanding of what activities they can do and ensures that they do not waste time applying for approval for research that they are not able to carry out under the new student eligibility criteria. Through completion of the toolkit, students can access supplementary declarations that need to be completed by their academic supervisor, confirming that they meet the criteria for the type of approvals they need for their research. There are three separate declarations depending on the approvals needed – the toolkit guides the student to the right one based on their responses.

Please share this update and new resource with colleagues and students who might benefit. Further details about the new eligibility criteria can be found on the HRA website.

Please see our question and answer section for further information. If you have any other queries about the eligibility criteria, please contact queries@hra.nhs.uk.

Please contact Suzy Wignall, Clinical Governance Advisor in RDS if you have any queries or concerns.

NEW UKRI Open access policy

UKRI announced its new open access policy in August 2021.

This policy applies to publications which need to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its councils. This includes funding from:

  • the research councils
  • Research England
  • Innovate UK.

It aims to ensure that findings from research funded by the public through UKRI can be freely accessed, used and built on.

The policy applies to:

  • peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022
  • monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.

Please see this link for the full policy document and other related information and details –

https://www.ukri.org/publications/ukri-open-access-policy/

Health Research Authority Releases Question and Answers: Student Eligibility Criteria

The Health Research Authority have published some questions and answers in relation to student research – this is in relation to the recent update regarding the upcoming changes to eligibility criteria.

You can find the Q&As here.

If you have any queries please contact Suzy Wignall, Clinical Governance Advisor in Research Development & Support.

Health Research Authority UPDATE: undergraduate and master’s research projects

New eligibility criteria from 1 September 2021

The HRA and the devolved administrations, supported by the Wessex Institute at the University of Southampton, have reviewed their approach to study approval for student research.

The review aimed to ensure students have the best learning experience of health and social care research, and to reduce the time that the HRA, DAs and NHS Research Ethics Committees (RECs) spend advising on and reviewing student applications.

In March 2020 the HRA paused student research approvals to create capacity for urgent COVID-19 research. Now, from 1 September 2021, they are introducing new eligibility criteria for standalone student research.

The new criteria mean that some master’s level students will be able to apply for ethics review and HRA/HCRW Approval or devolved administration equivalent. Standalone research at undergraduate level that requires ethics review and/or HRA/HCRW Approval (or devolved administration equivalent) cannot take place. Arrangements for doctoral research remain unchanged. Full details are in table one – permitted student research table. They have also made it clear when students are able to take the role of Chief Investigator, see table two – which type of students may act as Chief Investigator.

It is possible for students to learn about health and social care research without completing standalone projects. Looking at other ways to build skills and experience better reflects modern research and emphasises team science. View the video of the HRA event ‘Exploring good practice in Student Research’ to hear from course leaders about how successful these alternative approaches have been (registration is required to view) or read the HRA website for further information and ideas https://www.hra.nhs.uk/student-research/.

The HRA are giving notice now so that course leaders and students have time to prepare for the new arrangements, including ensuring that any changes to institutional policies and procedures are made.

If you have any queries about the eligibility criteria, please contact queries@hra.nhs.uk or swignall@bournemouth.ac.uk

New JISC transformative Read and Publish agreement with Taylor and Francis

In the recent months, Bournemouth University have been in negotiation with Taylor and Francis through JISC to sign up to the latest JISC Read and Publish deal and last week, the process was finalised and Bournemouth University officially became a member of this deal.

In theory, this means that Bournemouth University authors can now publish for free in any of the Open Select Taylor and Francis titles. However, due to a recent ruling by the HMRC on the publisher, all HEIs are being charged 20% VAT for every article that is approved for publication.

The implication of this is that if you are looking to publish in an Open Select title with Taylor and Francis, and you wish to make your article Open Access through this deal, you will still be required to submit an application to the BU Open Access fund through the normal route. This is due to the fact that BU will still have to cover the 20% VAT incurred from each article; we therefore need to ensure that we have the funds to cover these articles before approvals can be processed.

For more information and author guidance on this latest deal, please see the link below:

https://authorservices.taylorandfrancis.com/publishing-open-access/oa-agreements/jisc/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=EmailStudio&utm_campaign=JQD20019_4061355

Alternatively, if you have more questions about this deal, please email OpenAccess@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Open Access @ BU and how it works

BRIAN (Bournemouth Research Information and Networking)

According to BU’s Publications Policy and Procedures, on acceptance of publication by the publisher, all BU authors should record all research outputs in BRIAN immediately, and no later than three months after this point. For journal articles and conference proceedings, to comply with the REF Open Access policy, all BU authors should ensure that the author-accepted-manuscript (full text) is also deposited in BRIAN at the same time, and no later than three months after this point.

To do so, after you’ve created your publication record, click on the blue arrow up icon to deposit your full text –

You will then be directed to a page where the terms and conditions associated with the deposit will be made clear, before you proceed with choosing your file to be uploaded –

After you’ve uploaded your full text, it will then go through a review process by one of the Bournemouth University Research Online (BURO) team members with the Library and Learning Support Team. This is to ensure first of all, that the correct version of the full text has been uploaded; and depending on the publisher copyright policy, an embargo period may be imposed on the full text before it is visible to the public. If there are any problems with the deposit, one of the BURO teams members will contact the author directly to resolve the issue.

BURO (Bournemouth University Research Online)

Once the full text has been reviewed and processed by the BURO team, it will then be deposited into our institutional repository (IR), which is Bournemouth University Research Online (BURO) and you would have complied with BU’s open access policy. In BURO, you will find all full texts deposited by other BU authors and you can browse the content by year, group or author (surname); and if you’re interested, you can also view the repository statistics in terms of the number of total outputs deposited, their breakdown by type, or you can even check out the most downloaded items from our repository!

BU Staff Profile Page

After your full text has been deposited into BURO, if you have a BU Staff Profile Page, the link to the full text will also appear under your publication record on your Staff Profile Page and it will look like this –

Any visitor to your Staff Profile Page can then click on the link and be directed straight to your full text in BURO read all about your research.

If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to email either BRIAN@bournemouth.ac.uk, BURO@bournemouth.ac.uk or OpenAccess@bournemouth.ac.uk