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Behind the HE headlines is one key question – the purpose of universities

The past week’s higher education news demonstrates that there are certain expectations of universities that policymakers, HE leaders and the Augar review are expected to address, says Johnny Rich, Chief Executive of the Engineering Professors’ Council and Chief Executive of outreach organisation Push .

30 VCs sign new Civic University Agreement

Leaders of thirty universities have signed a Civic University Agreement, reaffirming their institution's commitment to their local communities by pledging to put the economy and quality of life in their home towns and cities at the top of their list of priorities.

How to improve the student experience -- ask the students themselves

Jenny Shaw , Student Experience Director at Unite Students, draws lessons on the higher education sector's efforts to improve the student experience from a week of HE news and views.

HEi-think: Why universities should support two year degrees

From this September, students will be able to opt to study an accelerated two year degree, as opposed to a traditional three year course. Professor Malcolm Todd, Provost (Academic) at the University of Derby, discusses why universities should consider the change in legislation and look to offer accelerated degrees.

2 minute briefing: School pupils' university aspirations

The proportion of school pupils who are planning to go to university has risen over the past 13 years, but half of them today worry about the cost of higher education, a poll by the Sutton Trust has found. HEi-know provides a two minute summary of the survey's key findings.

 

  • The proportion of 11 – 16 year olds in academies and maintained schools in England and Wales who say they are likely to go into higher education has risen from 71 per cent in 2003 to 77 per cent in 2016.

  • The proportion who say they are unlikely to go to university has fallen in the same period from 13 per cent to 11 per cent.

  • Of those that say today they are unlikely to enter HE, 68 per cent said it was because they "don't like this kind of learning", 62 per cent said it was because they were worried about the cost, 43 per cent because they "need a job", and 44 per cent because they are "not clever enough" (up from 37 per cent in 2015).

  • A further 31 per cent cited social reasons for not going to university, while 21 per cent said they didn't know enough about it.

  • Of those who are planning to go to university, 47 per cent said they were worried about the cost, while 46 per cent said cost didn't worry them.

  • Tuition fees was the biggest financial concern for prospective students, cited by 45 per cent. Nearly a fifth (19 per cent) were worried about student loan repayments, while 17 per cent were concerned about living costs.
leaf / 123RF
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