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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.
Ten universities are to take part in the first pilot of a project design to measure how well student learn and what support their institutions provide.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England project will pilot a combination of methodological approaches to measuring learning gain, with the help of undergraduate students at Anglia Ruskin University, Bishop Grosseteste University, the University of Greenwich, the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Hull, the University of Kent, the University of Leicester, the University of Liverpool, the University of St Mark and St John, and the University of Wolverhampton.
In each year of their studies from 2016-17 to 2019-20, participating students will be invited to complete an assessment, which will explore their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, attitudes towards their study experience, and engagement with their studies.
As part of the wider programme of work on learning gain, HEFCE has already funded 13 institutionally led pilot projects. This programme of work is contributing to ongoing debates about the quality and impact of higher education, and how to evidence students’ wider learning.
A detailed overview of the NMMLGP will be presented alongside findings from the first year of work within the learning gain pilot projects on Thursday 10 November at the HEFCE National Conference on Learning Gain.
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