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Behind the HE headlines is one key question – the purpose of universities

The past week’s higher education news demonstrates that there are certain expectations of universities that policymakers, HE leaders and the Augar review are expected to address, says Johnny Rich, Chief Executive of the Engineering Professors’ Council and Chief Executive of outreach organisation Push .

30 VCs sign new Civic University Agreement

Leaders of thirty universities have signed a Civic University Agreement, reaffirming their institution's commitment to their local communities by pledging to put the economy and quality of life in their home towns and cities at the top of their list of priorities.

How to improve the student experience -- ask the students themselves

Jenny Shaw , Student Experience Director at Unite Students, draws lessons on the higher education sector's efforts to improve the student experience from a week of HE news and views.

HEi-think: Why universities should support two year degrees

From this September, students will be able to opt to study an accelerated two year degree, as opposed to a traditional three year course. Professor Malcolm Todd, Provost (Academic) at the University of Derby, discusses why universities should consider the change in legislation and look to offer accelerated degrees.

Research England names KEF pilot institutions

Research England has selected 21 English universities to take part in a pilot Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), which will run between February and May 2019.

Nottingham Trent tops new green league table

Nottingham Trent University tops the latest green university league table from the student campaign network People & Planet, which continues to be dominated by new universities.

NTU has moved up from third position last year, while Brighton University has leaped up 19 places to occupy second place and Manchester Metropolitan University has moved up one place into third position.

A total of 16 new universities out of 30 institutions have been awarded "First class honours" in the table that awards points for a range of green measures including environmental policy and the number of staff supporting it, ethical investments, carbon management, energy use, recycling, and upholding workers' rights.

The University of Newcastle is the highest ranking Russell Group university, in joint 8th place, with four other Russell Group institutions making the top 30 this year, including Exeter, Leeds, Bristol and UCL.

Fifteen institutions are classed as having "failed" against the green measures set by the ranking.

People & Planet said that thanks to strong support from staff and students, the number of universities reporting that they are committing to divesting from fossil fuel investments has grown by 16 to a total of 43.

However, only a quarter of institutions are on track to meet their carbon reductions targets by 2020.

 

1 Nottingham Trent University

2 University of Brighton

3 Manchester Metropolitan University

4 Cardiff Metropolitan University

5 University of Worcester

6 Aston University

7 City University London

8= University of Gloucestershire

8= Newcastle University

10 Swansea University

11 University of Bedfordshire

12 Plymouth University

13 De Montfort University

14 London School of Economics And Political Science

15 Keele University

16= University of Exeter

16= Royal Agricultural University

18 University of Greenwich

19 University of Bradford

20 Bournemouth University

21 Coventry University

22 Edinburgh Napier University

23 University of Leeds

24 University of Bristol

25 SOAS, University of London

26 University of The West of England, Bristol

27 University of Wales Trinity Saint David

28 Glasgow Caledonian University

29 UCL

30 University of Leicester

People & Planet green rankings 2016 - Top 30 with "First class honours"

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