Login

close

Login

If you are a registered HEi-know user, please log in to continue.


Unregistered Visitors

You must be a registered HEi-know user to access Briefing Reports, stories and other information and services. Please click on the link below to find out more about HEi-know.

Find out more
New regulatory framework will usher in "golden age" for HE, says OfS chair

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.

Think tank report calls for fees to be capped as low as £5,000

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.

HESA releases details on the future of student data

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.

Study highlights dissatisfaction among students with multiple disadvantages

Over a quarter of students from multiple disadvantaged groups are dissatisfied with their non-academic higher education experience, new research shows.

HEi News Roundup live

Live higher education news roundup

Leicester receives £2.7m gift for kidney research

The University of Leicester has received its biggest ever single gift from a private  individual - £2.7 million- which will be used to fund life-saving kidney research of global significance in the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology.

The funding has been welcomed by the UK IgA Nephropathy Patient Group because of its potential to understand and eventually develop new drugs to treat one of the leading causes of kidney failure - IgA Nephropathy - across the world and to aid a global alliance of researchers to battle it in different populations.

The donation is the second largest made by philanthropist Mr Jimmy Mayer to further renal research at the University. In 2014, he gave £500,000 to the Leicester research team to fund the IgA Nephropathy research programme.

Mr Mayer said:  “When my son was diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy in 2012 I, as any father, started to research to better understand this condition; I wanted to know what could be done and how I could modestly contribute to these efforts. 

“Through my investigation I became acutely aware of the broader implication of kidney disease in our society.  I also came across the great work of the fabulous team at Leicester.  I hopped on a train for a visit and have ever since been their number one fan.  It seemed to me that with a grant of this type they could continue to build on a very solid foundation.

“It is my sincere hope that with these efforts they can make significant progress toward a more complete understanding of IgA Nephropathy, improved treatment options and, perhaps even, a cure.”

The funding will create dedicated research facilities - The Mayer IgA Nephropathy Laboratories - as well as a named Professorship - the Mayer Chair in Renal Medicine – at the University.

The vital funding will support the work of a research group at the University of Leicester led by Professor Jonathan Barratt of the Department of Infection Immunity & Inflammation at the University. He is also an Honorary Consultant Nephrologist in the John Walls Renal Unit, Leicester General Hospital.  Professor Barratt will hold the title of the Mayer Chair in Renal Medicine.

The researchers aim to further understand mechanisms that lead to the development and progression of IgA Nephropathy and to establish the world’s first international registry of IgA Nephropathy patients.

IgA Nephropathy is a condition in which an individual’s own antibodies, which are produced naturally to fight infections, settle in the kidneys and damage them by causing inflammation and scarring. Patients often do not display symptoms. As a result, most affected people are unaware they have the condition until they have a blood or urine test. The causes are not fully known and, in extreme cases, the condition can cause kidney failure.

Scientists at the University of Leicester have been investigating the condition for over 30 years. It is the excellence and transformative potential of their research that has led to this generous donation.

Professor Barratt said:  “This donation will transform our approach to the study of this common cause of kidney disease. We will, for the first time, be able to compare how IgA Nephropathy behaves in populations from South America through to Asia. By comparing different populations, with different genetic risk factors and exposure to different environmental stresses such as diet, pollution and prevalent infections, we hope to identify the key factors that cause IgA Nephropathy and which of these determine whether a patient with IgA Nephropathy develops kidney failure.

Mr Bill Friar, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Leicester, said:  “We are so grateful to Mr Jimmy Mayer for his generous gift, which will transform not only our own kidney research but also help researchers around the world. It is a testament to the quality of IgA Nephropathy research at the University of Leicester that he has made a second major donation to our work. I know the Mayer family want their support to raise awareness and encourage others to contribute in any way they can. We are working with Jimmy and David on ways to use their inspiring example to encourage others to make their own gifts, of any size, to further potentially life-saving research into kidney disease.”

Back