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Briefing Report 367 HEA - Evidencing teaching excellence - Analysis of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF2) provider submissions

Briefing Report 367 HEA - Evidencing teaching excellence - Analysis of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF2) provider submissions

Briefing Report 366 Universities Scotland - Working to Widen Access

Briefing Report 366 Universities Scotland - Working to Widen Access

HE Insight Paper 27 - The implications of organisational change for UK HE

HE Insight Paper 27 - The implications of organisational change for UK HE

Good Practice Briefing 06 - Responding to the student mental health crisis

Good Practice Briefing 06 - Responding to the student mental health crisis

Briefing Report 365 HEFCE - Financial health of the higher education sector - 2016-17 to 2019-20 forecasts

Briefing Report 365 HEFCE - Financial health of the higher education sector - 2016-17 to 2019-20 forecasts

Briefing Report 364 Sutton Trust - Admissions in Context - the use of contextual information by leading universities

Briefing Report 364 Sutton Trust - Admissions in Context - the use of contextual information by leading universities

Briefing Report 363 DFE - Government consultation on the role of the OfS and regulation of HEIs

Briefing Report 363 DFE - Government consultation on the role of the OfS and regulation of HEIs

Briefing Report 362 OFFA - Understanding a whole institution approach to widening participation - Final report

Briefing Report 362 OFFA - Understanding a whole institution approach to widening participation - Final report

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HEi News

Warwick University campus
HEi-know speaks to Jane White, who has taken up the role of Executive Officer at AUDE (the Association of University Directors of Estates) following four years as Head of Research and Information Services at IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health).
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Opportunities are growing for UK higher education providers to expand in India, British Council research has found.
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A Universities UK report has called for closer collaboration between universities, further education colleges, and employers to help find a better match between graduate skills and those demanded in the workplace. Ian Dunn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (student experience) at Coventry University, says more flexible learning pathways may be the answer.
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A new framework that clearly defines the soft skills students can acquire on degree courses that make them more employable is needed to help measure teaching quality, an employability expert has said.
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Technology is central to providing prompt and useful feedback to students, according to a new good practice guide.
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The government has miscalculated the cost of the students loans scheme, and now students from the poorest backgrounds are likely to pay the price for making the system sustainable, warns Lee Elliot-Major, chief executive of the Sutton Trust.
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The student body in the UK has become younger and more diverse over the past decade while the number of part-time and mature participants has declined, a new report shows.
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A significant new body of research commissioned and published by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education will help universities develop current and future leaders and address key issues facing staff, a conference heard.
Value for money "not a student priority" nito500 / 123RF
Getting "value for money", a central theme of the government's higher education green paper, is not a student priority, vice-chancellors have been told.
Sir Paul Nurse
Despite possible threats to academic freedom seen by some in Sir Paul Nurse's proposals following his review of the funding councils, Professor Nick Talbot, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Exeter, finds reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the recommendations.
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While it is difficult to fault many of the aspirations for universities set out in the HE green paper, its proposals risk leading the sector too far down the road of marketization with more consequent damage than benefits, argues Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.
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Top performing research units are most likely to contain highly experienced well qualified staff with a wide range of experience and strong networks who enjoy a high level of autonomy, a study has concluded.
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As the Association of Colleges prepares to debate the effect of planned government cuts in FE funding at its annual conference, AoC President and Principal of New College Durham John Widdowson warns that a substantial impact will also be felt in higher education.
A conservative think tank has called on the government to introduce a "lifetime loan account" which all students would qualify for to pay for any kind of higher education, in a bid to tackle the dramatic drop in part-time study.
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Universities could be plunged into a 17 per cent deficit within two years if a “perfect storm” of four adverse factors hit at the same time, the Higher Education Funding Council for England has warned.
The green paper offers HE institutions to opportunity to keep social mobility and other key issues high on the government's agenda. But they should listen closely to their students before submitting a response, argues Ross Renton, Pro Vice-Chancellor Students at the University of Worcester.
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All ethnic minority groups in England are now, on average, more likely to go to university than their White British peers, a study has concluded.
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The higher education green paper has many worthy aims, but the ways it proposes to achieve them are problematic, argues Monica McLean, Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham.
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A new student-focussed super quango merging the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Office for Fair Access would be created under proposals outlined in the government’s higher education green paper, published today.
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State school students achieve better degrees than their privately educated peers, a new study has concluded. The research by Cambridge Assessment, a department of the University of Cambridge, draws the same conclusions as a report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England which controversially was forced to admit this week that it had got its figures wrong.
As the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers meets for its annual conference, UCET Executive Director James Noble-Rogers considers the potential impact of a new "market-driven" teacher training recruitment system on providers and the teacher supply crisis facing schools.
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International students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are most attracted to the UK because of the quality of education, rather than their UK career prospects, a major new survey has shown.
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Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Unit, explores issues highlighted in a new a collection of essays published by HEPI examining the decline in part-time study and possible solutions to the problem.
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There has been a 1 per cent year-on-year increase in applications to UK university medical, dentistry and veterinary schools and to Oxbridge, early data from UCAS has shown.
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Two thirds of freshers are not aware of procedures at their university for reporting sexual harassment, a survey conducted by the National Union of Students has found.
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Joint degree programmes offered by two or more universities, often in different countries, can provide significant benefits for students, but also present challenges for institutions. Harriet Barnes, Assistant Director Quality Development at the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, explains how new QAA guidance will help.
The financial services industry continues to be the main recruiter of university graduates into professional employment, according to new rankings.
The UK is the top destination for Nobel Prize winners who have studied abroad, a new study by the British Council has found.
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University of Worcester Pro Vice-Chancellor Students Ross Renton examines the pros and cons of the options laid out in the government's consultation on the student loan repayment threshold.
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The gap between the pay of graduates in professional jobs requiring a degree and those in roles that do not has dropped on average by 14 per cent over the past five years, according to a new analysis.
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Les Ebdon, the Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, examines the implications of research showing that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are failing to gain their fair share of good degrees.
The campaign to publicise the benefits to higher education and the UK's economy of Britain’s membership of the EU has stepped up a gear. HEi-know examines the debates around the issue.
Surrey Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Christopher Snowden
The University of Surrey has been voted The Times and Sunday Times university of the year as new rankings see it move up from 11th to 8th position.
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A new UK-China Strategic Framework in Education agreement signed by UK universities minister Jo Johnson and China’s Minister of Education Yuan Guiren will see the two countries working more closely together on academic research, student exchanges, and the creation of new institutions.
The government has published new guidance on rules for gaining university and university college titles, degree awarding powers, and eligibility for Higher Education Funding Council for England funding, ending its moratorium on new universities and other HE institutions being created in the sector.
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Female researchers are being rewarded less than their male peers and passed over for promotion, a new survey has revealed.
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University rankings are proliferating in the UK and around the world.  Despite continuing criticism, they enjoy a growing following and impact. Their methodologies continue to develop, providing a wide range of ways of comparing and evaluating universities. Far from going away, university league tables are likely to loom larger in the years ahead. HEi-know examines the current rankings, and their pros and cons.
Jo Johnson
Faster routes for new university providers, measures to drive out poor teaching, and protection for student consumers, will be at the heart of a higher education green paper to be published this autumn, Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities and Science, told vice-chancellors at their annual conference.
Sajid Javid
Business Secretary Sajid Javid has called on Universities UK to set up a task force to help reduce violence against women on campus.
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The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has quietly published a paper containing guidance that has implications for the future regulation of alternative higher education providers and the wider sector. Mike Ratcliffe, former director of academic and student affairs at Oxford Brookes University and a PhD student at the UCL Institute of Education,  considers what it says about the government's intentions.
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Universities’ internationalisation rankings have "limited significance" according to new research from the University of Warwick.
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Universities planning to recruit extra Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students this summer will be revisiting their budgets now they know where the axe will fall on teaching grant.
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Universities will continue to use more than half their access funds on bursaries and fee reductions for disadvantaged students despite pressure to switch the funding to outreach, new figures published by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) show.
An open letter calling for an end to the “managerial micro-management” of higher education forcing academics to function as a “small business” has been signed by 121 university professors.
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University leaders have called for fundamental reform to the way nursing, midwifery and allied health professional education (AHPs) is funded in England.
Jo Johnson
Government plans to introduce a teaching equivalent of the Research Excellence Framework will be confirmed today by universities minister Jo Johnson.
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Overseas students work harder than home students and bring long-term benefits to British universities and home students, according to a new study.
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Universities have set out the case for investment in higher education in the run up to the budget.
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Employers’ claims that international students are vital to the future prosperity of the UK are “seriously undermined” by the number of foreign students going into graduate jobs, according to a new report.
A growing proportion of university research funding is being awarded to the “Golden Triangle”, new figures show.
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While the number of student complaints appears to have almost plateaued, universities are being challenged by a sharp rise in the proportion that are over the quality and availability of resources, teaching and facilities, and issues relating to a "lad's culture" on campus, warns Rob Behrens, chief executive of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for higher education, which has published its annual report.
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While higher education is making progress on widening access to Black and Minority Ethnic students, it still has a long way to go towards creating equal leadership opportunities for BME staff, according to a new paper published by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education from Dr Gurnam Singh, Principal Lecturer in Social Work and Dr Josephine Kwhali, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, both at Coventry University.
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Academic leaders have warned that a proposed overhaul of quality assurance risks undermining the worldwide reputation of UK higher education.
Dr Jo Beall, British Council Director Education and Society
More than 1,200 leaders in higher education, business and government attended the British Council’s annual Going Global conference, which took place in London on 1st and 2nd June. The British Council invited Media FHE to deliver daily Briefing Reports from the conference, providing easy to digest summaries of news, research findings, and key points arising from the event.
David Willetts
Global university rankings put an unfair emphasis on research and should include more teaching measures, David Willetts, the former UK minister for universities has said.
Professor Sir Bob Burgess
UK universities are being encouraged to adopt a new international-style grade point average (GPA) scheme alongside traditional degree classifications. A GPA scale should be introduced to give graduates and employers a more detailed and accurate picture of how individuals performed throughout their studies, a new report says.
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Social media is developing fast, and has become one of the most important channels through which universities can communicate with current and prospective students and alumni. With a seemingly bewildering array of new social media platforms and apps emerging, Picklejar Communications Director Tracy Playle identifies the ones HE institutions need to take notice of.
Jo Johnson
Higher education leaders are expected to welcome the appointment of Europhile Jo Johnson as the new universities and science minister.
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As more universities are faced with situations where they must weigh up defending academic freedom against security concerns, Geoffrey Alderman argues they should not let other factors such as institutional reputation cloud their judgement.
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The higher education plans of the political parties have been outlined in their election manifestos. HEi-know asked HE commentators to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of these plans from the sector’s point of view.
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UK universities have boosted spending on facilities while in England class sizes have improved since the introduction of higher fees, analysis by the Complete University Guide has found. The findings coincide with publication of Guide's annual university rankings, topped for a second year by Cambridge, Oxford and the London School of Economics.
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A major threat to European Union research funding may be averted, university leaders say.
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Young people from deprived areas are narrowing their choices of where and what course to study because of tuition fees of £9,000 a year, according to new research.
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Higher education is proving to be an important electoral battleground as the general election approaches. With manifestos now published by the three main parties as well as the Green Party and UKIP, HEi-know examines their HE plans and where they stand on key policy areas.
Professor Janet Beer
A leading vice-chancellor is calling on policy-makers to appoint a university “equality tsar” to help improve leadership opportunities for women in higher education. Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, says a high profile champion is needed to help more women with ambition and potential to rise to top management positions in universities.
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The Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan have published the results of a survey of school leavers planning to enter higher education on their attitudes to studying alongside international students at university. HEPI Director Nick Hillman outlines what the poll found and the questions it raises.
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A third of all vice-chancellors have left their posts or announced their intention to leave in the past two years, leading to a marked churn at the top in universities, an HEi-know analysis has found.
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Young people will be able to study new degree apprenticeships at university for free, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.
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England is facing its most serious health workforce crisis in decades because of poor planning and cuts in training places, academics have warned.
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With the general election campaign well under way, former BBC education and social policy correspondent and Media FHE consultant Sue Littlemore offers some tips on getting your university’s voice heard and its messages across amid the news and commentary.
Dr Paul Fitzpatrick
As radicalisation on campus hits the headlines again with news of the identity and university education of Islamic State executioner "Jihadi John",  the Reverend Dr Paul Fitzpatrick, chaplain and Prevent co-ordinator at Cardiff Metropolitan University, outlines protocols developed by his institution to tackle radicalisation that have been approved by the Home Office and are to be rolled out to universities across the UK.
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New analysis from the British Council has highlighted concerns that continuing but slow growth in the number of overseas students studying in Britain is masking a slide in the UK’s share of the global market. HEi-know examines the overall trends in international student recruitment to the UK and competitor countries, and the opportunities and threats that these present to institutions.
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Protocols developed by Cardiff Metropolitan University to prevent radicalisation on campus have been approved by the Home Office and are to be rolled out to universities across the UK.
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As higher education leaders and analysts debate the future for undergraduate and postgraduate taught tuition fees at an event in London today, one of the speakers, Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of the university think tank million+, says it is time for all political parties to come forward with fully costed plans for fixing problems with the fees and student finance system.
As concern continues to grow over the potential impact of immigration changes on the UK's global reputation as a welcoming study destination, the UK Council for International Student Affairs has launched a Manifesto for International Students that urges a future government to take steps to re-establish trust in Britain among overseas students. Ukcisa's chief executive Dominic Scott outlines the issues addressed in the Manifesto.
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In October last year the higher education funding bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland announced they were to consult on future approaches to the assessment of quality in HE. Later that month a steering group was established, and on January 15 this group published a discussion document seeking views on the broad purpose, principles and parameters of any future quality assessment regime. With the deadline for responses to that document approaching, HEi-know looks at some of the key quality assessment issues being debated in the sector.
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Bob Athwal, Director of Student Experience at the University of Leicester, looks deeper into the latest encouraging graduate market statistics and finds even more reasons to be optimistic, as it appears major employers are finally casting their net wider than the traditional milk round circuit.
Greg Clark
Plans for a framework to assess teaching quality, a concerted drive for more women in senior posts, and reassurance over the review of research councils, were among key messages for vice-chancellors from universities minister Greg Clark in a speech at the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s annual conference.
As the debate over whether tuition fees should go up or down intensifies, a new book from the Higher Education Policy Institute presents a range of views from across the sector on how HE institutions can show they are providing students with value for money. HEPI’s Director Nick Hillman argues that in the current economic and political climate the sector has more work to do to convince policymakers of this.
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One in five universities is breaching consumer law with small print that allows it to make last minute changes to courses, new research suggests.
Professor Sir Christopher Snowden
Leading vice-chancellors have strongly urged the Labour leadership to reconsider its proposal to reduce tuition fees to £6,000 a year.
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MPs and prospective MPs are more interested in what universities can do for the UK’s economy than in the teaching they provide for 2.5 million students a year, a survey has shown.
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An Early Day Motion signed by 36 MPs has called on the government to remove international students from the UK's target to reduce net migration.
New universities dominate the top positions in a new league table that ranks institutions according to their green credentials.
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Sutton Trust Chief Executive Dr Lee Elliot Major calls for a more coordinated and concerted effort to widen participation in higher education after a study found a North-South divide in the number of school leavers gaining places at leading universities.
Greg Clark
Universities minister Greg Clark has called on leading universities in the Midlands and North of England to do more to tackle a north-south divide in the number of school leavers entering leading universities.
University leaders have condemned European Commission plans to cut the European Union's £67 billion Horizon 2020 research and innovation budget.
Top of the table: Oxford University
Oxford University emerges as the overall top ranking institution in a new Research Excellence Framework "table of tables" created by Media FHE. QS World University Rankings advisory board chair Martin Ince reviews the table and the REF results as presented in other rankings.
Theresa May
Home Secretary Theresa May’s proposal to expel overseas graduates from the UK appear to have been blocked by senior Tories including Chancellor George Osborne. But May’s high profile move is just another illustration of Home Office attempts to gain greater regulatory power over higher education, argues Geoffrey Alderman.
George Osborne
Chancellor George Osborne has reportedly stepped in to block Home Secretary Theresa May's plans to send foreign graduates home on completion of their studies.
Margaret Hodge - VCs pay is "very, very high"
MPs have accused vice chancellors of “filling their boots” with large salary hikes – and the head of the Treasury says he “tends to agree” with them.
Panel Chair Professor Sir Christopher Snowden
The Government’s higher education reforms may have led to a decline in more flexible forms of study and hampered innovation in teaching, according to responses to a Universities UK inquiry.
A team from the University of Leicester will lead research into vital raw materials for solar panels. The Natural Environment Research Council is investing just over £8m in research – including £2.4 million to Leicester - to ensure the company has access to elements needed to develop a variety of low-carbon technologies.
A new collaboration between the University of Sheffield and Nanjing Tech University in China has been signed, paving the way for the establishment of a joint institute in Nanjing.
The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLAN) new medical school has been officially opened by Dr Kate Granger MBE, a terminally ill doctor who has launched a campaign - #hellomynamesis - to bring compassion to the forefront of healthcare.
Sheffield Hallam University adds an annual £424 million to the city and regional economy, an independent Oxford Economics study has revealed.
A new world-class music, theatre and cinema facilities at the University of Hull is now under construction. The second phase of the £9.5m Middleton Hall redevelopment has begun and will be completed in time for the City of Culture Celebrations in 2017.
Work has begun on a new £12.5 million, 4,200 square-metre building for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the University of Derby .
Researchers from Lancaster University has been recognised in this year’s Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics .
The University of Derby has announced that Professor Kathryn Mitchell, currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of West London, will succeed Professor John Coyne to become its new Vice-Chancellor from September.
British universities have secured 14 per cent of all top 50 spots available across 36 disciplines in newly published world rankings.
University mergers across Europe are on the rise, a new report has revealed.
A record number of graduate start-up companies were formed last year, new figure show.
Universities need a better understanding of the impact of the financial support they provide to ensure their schemes have the greatest impact, an Office for Fair Access report has concluded.
A new £27 million campus development at Sheffield Hallam University has been nominated for a 2015 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire award.
Exeter University’s science park has been awarded £10 million funding for its cutting-edge weather and climate research. The investment is part of a £65.2 million cash pot that will be invested in the region between 2016 and 2021.
The University of East London will lead a pioneering new research programme, with Barts Health NHS Trust, the UK’s largest NHS Trust, into improving antenatal care.
The University of Sheffield's Mercury Centre and commercial partners have started a £8.4m project to take 3D printing to the next level.
The finalists for a new prestigious award celebrating outstanding achievements of the UK’s international alumni have been announced, ahead of three awards ceremonies taking place over the next month in China, India, and the USA.
The European University Association has called on the European Parliament to reject proposals that would significantly cut investment in European research.
Eight new joint UK-Israeli medical research projects on the use of stem cells to tackle degenerative diseases have been awarded £3.2 million by the British Council.
Work has started on a new £1.5 million contemporary art gallery at the Richard Attenborough Centre – Leicester University’s arts complex. The 400 square metre gallery will offer free public entry in line with what the university calls ‘Lord Attenborough’s dream of providing maximum access to the arts.’
A £30 million development providing new flats and apartments for 560 first-year undergraduates is to be built at the University of Hull’s Cottingham Road campus.  Described as ‘stunning, contemporary and efficient architecture’, it will replace the Needler Hall residence in Cottingham.
The number of American students applying for places at British universities has reached record levels, new figures show.
The University of Exeter has received a £2 million gift from The Wolfson Foundation to support the establishment of a new Living Systems Institute, which will pioneer a new approach to treating the world’s most serious diseases.
The University of Nottingham has been awarded funding by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK, for a £1.2 million research project which will bring new wing design, manufacturing and assembly technologies to market.
The University of Leicester has welcomed 40 local school and college students onto campus to begin to take their LEAP into University at the launch of a new  Leicester Enhanced Access Programme (LEAP) .
UK higher education must reach out to South Asia or be left behind by its competitors, the British Council has warned.
The University of York has activated a new app to enhance campus security. The free app, called SafeZone, will be able to summon urgent help if a student or staff member feels threatened, or in the event of assault or robbery.