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UKRI invests £200m in 12 research hubs to tackle global challenges

UK Research and Innovation has announced a "pioneering and ambitious new approach" to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges through a £200 million investment across 12 global research Hubs.

Weekly HE news review: Storm clouds gathering?

With Brexit inevitably dominating the headlines this week, Rhiannon Birch, Director of Planning and Insight at the University of Sheffield, looks at what else was also making news in higher education.

HEi-think: Keeping the plates spinning in HE -- who'd be a Registrar?

As higher education changes to meet a growing number of challenges, so the role of registrar has evolved and become more complex, observes Graham Cooper, Head of Education at Capita Education Software Solutions. A White Paper from Media FHE and Capita is the latest of a number of reports that show the range of responsibilities and issues registrars are now expected to take on, and how they feel about them.

New inquiry into whether "challenger institutions" offer a genuine choice for students

A new parliamentary-led inquiry conducted by the Higher Education Commission is to investigate innovation in alternative models of delivering Higher Education.

The Commission, a cross-party group of parliamentarians and leading representatives from business, industry, and the public sector, says it wants to investigate a broad spectrum of higher education institutions providing alternative models of provision which differ from the campus-based three year undergraduate course.

The inquiry’s final report will be launched in June 2017 and will make a series of recommendations designed to promote good practice ahead of the Higher Education and Research Bill which is currently making its way through the House of Lords.

The Bill will introduce a new regulatory architecture which will relax regulations to allow high quality entrants to enter the market. The Commission said it is important to consider whether the newer so-called ‘challenger institutions’ – who may offer alternative models of provision – are genuinely expanding the choice for students in the market. The inquiry, chaired by Lord Norton of Louth and Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester, will examine whether these institutions offer a distinct alternative and offer recommendations for cross-sector learning.

The inquiry follows the HE Commission's From Bricks to Clicks report which investigated the potential of data analytics in HE and how providers could use data to better deliver education.

A call for evidence is to be issued in the New Year, inviting insights from sector bodies, employers, and universities on the innovation taking place in institutions providing an alternative model of provision.

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