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The new regulatory framework for universities will have “an unflinching focus” on students but not reduce English higher education to a “crude transaction between buyer and seller” said Sir Michael Barber as the government published a 181-page consultation report on its proposals.
Tuition fees should be capped at as low as £5,000 and the interest rate on student loans lowered to match inflation levels, according to a report published by the free-market think tank the Centre for Policy Studies.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency has published the specification of student data to be returned by higher education providers from the 2019/20 academic year. The release represents the biggest change to the way student data is collected since the Cheltenham agency’s first data collection in 1994.
Female academics in the UK are paid on average £6,103 a year less than their male peers, leaving an annual gender pay gap across the sector amounting to £528 million, a survey by the University and College Union has found.
Women are paid less than men at 154 universities across the sector, with the largest pay gaps at Russell Group institutions, a report on the findings says.
UCU is calling for universities to make faster progress towards equal pay, following recommendations for institutions to take action from the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "These colleges and universities should not have allowed such shameful levels of pay inequality to persist. It’s nearly 50 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force and they’re still flying in the face of it.
"Today on International Women’s Day, we would like to see a firm commitment from sector leaders to close the gap and are offering to work with institutions to make equal pay at every college and university a reality."
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