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Access to HE has a bright future after 25 years of achievement

Val Yates, Director of Access and Inclusion at the University of Worcester, raises the curtain on an annual access and continuing education event, now in its 25 th year, taking place at her institution this week.

Universities with top social media reviews do well in NSS and TEF

Universities that are rated highly on Facebook and other online review sites tend to do better in formal measures of learning and teaching, new research suggests.

HEi-think: High quality teaching does most to boost value for money perceptions

Key findings of the latest Student Academic Experience Survey from Advance HE and the Higher Education Policy Institute are outlined and examined by Jonathan Neves, Advance HE Head of Insights and author of a report on the survey results.

Rating boost for half of institutions that reapplied to TEF 2018

Half of the institutions that reapplied to the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework in 2018 saw their rating improve.

HE Bill amendments bolser Office for Students powers

A new Office for Students would have the right to ask universities for numbers and details of the offers they have made to students, broken down by ethnic and social background as well as gender, under amendments put forward by the government to its Higher Education and Research Bill.

Universities would also be asked for total numbers of applications and drop-out rates, also broken down along these lines.

Proposed changes tabled by the government include recommendations that student representatives  – and people representing the UK’s nations – sit on the board of the new Office for Students.

The duty to monitor the financial stability of the university sector would also shift to the Office for Students under the changes.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson announced details of the amendments on Twitter, saying: “Our changes include making sure there’s proper student representation on the Board of new regulator, Office for Students #HEBill”.

The move to include students on the board has been widely welcomed by the National Union of Students and also by its former leader Wes Streeting, who is now a Labour MP.

He tweeted: “I'm chalking this up as a win. Credit to Jo for listening and all those involved in the campaign.”

Mr Streeting had lobbied the government, saying increased tuition fees had benefitted universities because money was “flowing in”, while students were paying record levels of tuition fees but had no protections or guarantees.

Other changes include giving the Office for Students the right to “impose a registration condition requiring a provider to publish a student protection plan”.   Such plans – which are a voluntary requirement at the moment - set out what students can expect if their course, campus or institution closes.

Universities UK has welcomed the changes as a “step in the right direction”. It tweeted: “Govt amendments to HE Bill a welcome step in the right direction. Important students & unis' concerns addressed.”

The Higher Education and Research Bill is at the Report Stage in the House of Commons, ahead of its Third Reading there before it moves to the House of Lords.

Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs had wanted to see more changes to the Bill, but said amendments they put forward were blocked by the Conservatives.

 

 

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