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HEi-think: Graduate employers will be disappointed by Migration Committee report

Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive at the Institute of Student Employers, responds to the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee report on the impacts of international students in the UK.

Part-time degree is worth up to £377k, study suggests

Completing a part-time degree in your late 30s is associated with an increase in lifetime earnings of up to £377,000 in cash terms, a new study commissioned by the Open University shows.

HEi-think: Why overseas students deserve a more welcoming UK visa policy

Following encouraging comments from universities minister Sam Gyimah on Universities UK's call for the re-introduction of a post-study work visa, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, the outgoing President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield who co-founded the #WeAreInternational campaign with the President of the Sheffield Students' Union in 2012, argues that now is the time for the government to back up its welcoming words for international students with a welcoming policy change.

HEi-think: UUK annual conference -- thoughts from HE leaders

University UK's annual conference, held at Sheffield Hallam University, kicked off the academic year with speeches and debates on a wide range of burning issues, including Brexit, fees and funding, overseas students, public perceptions of HE, value for money, freedom of speech, and student mental health. HEi-know asked Higher Education Policy Institute Director Nick Hillman, Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes, and Lancaster University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Smith, to give their personal perspectives on the event and its themes.

MPs most interested in what universities can do for the UK economy

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.

A poll of MPs and politicians hoping to win a seat in the forthcoming general election commissioned by Universities UK found that they were most interested in hearing about universities’ engagement with business and enterprise and the employability of their graduates.

Very few – just 14 per cent of MPs and 16 per cent of “future MPs” – wanted information about one of the core purposes of universities: providing good teaching and a high quality learning environment for their students.

The proportion of those polled who wanted to know about where universities stand on immigration – a hot topic for institutions ahead of the election – was also relatively low (16 per cent among MPs and 13 per cent among would-be MPs).

The survey conducted by ComRes found that by contract 43 per cent of MPs were interested in universities’ engagement with business and 42 per cent in graduate employability. Prospective MPs were equally interested in graduate employability (48 per cent) and what universities were doing to widen participation in HE and boost social mobility.

Asked what they thought universities are good at, the most popular answer among respondents was conducting world class research – supported by 78 per cent of MPs and 75 per cent of prospective MPs. Most also thought British universities were strong on competing internationally with other HE sectors, producing highly skilled and employable graduates, and contributing to local employment and local economies.

But there was far less confidence in universities using their funding efficiently – with just 38 per cent of MPs and 30 per cent of future MPs thinking this was the case.

The area where respondents felt universities were weakest, though, was in engaging with MPs and other policymakers. Only just under a quarter of MPs and 13 per cent of future MPs thought universities were strong in this area.

Source: Universities UK
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