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University leaders commit to pension talks as strikes begin

University leaders have written to the University and College Union to formally outline their commitment to continuing to work with UCU to deliver long-term reform of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. The move comes as UCU members at 60 universities begin strike action in disputes over both pensions and pay.

Gateway to university expertise now provides 'smart match' with business

A platform providing a single access point for businesses to university expertise and funding opportunities has been further developed by the National Centre for Universities and Business, Research England, and UK Research and Innovation, to help 'smart match' business and industry with higher education institutions, in a bid to boost R&D collaboration. Shivaun Meehan, Head of Communications at the NCUB, outlines the latest features of Konfer.

HEFCE launches new learning gain pilot

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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