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Is the admissions system ready for reform?

With calls for a post-qualification admissions system, greater transparency around unconditional university offers, and the need for a more ambitious contextual admissions strategy – is the current admissions process fit for purpose or is it ready for a refresh? June Hughes, University of Derby Secretary and Registrar, discusses the complexity of the university system.

The TEF may not be perfect -- but it's still worth going for gold

As the latest Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) results are published, Sue Reece, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) at Staffordshire University, says the efforts her institution made to move up from a Silver to a Gold award were worth it, despite flaws in the TEF methodology.

Study finds progress on tackling hate crime and sexual harassment on campus

Universities awarded funding as part of a large-scale programme to tackle hate crime and sexual harassment on campus have made good progress, an evaluation of the scheme has concluded.

Hinds urges OfS to take “ambitious” measures to protect HE standards

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has urged the Office for Students to adopt “ambitious” new measures “in order to tackle risks to the world class quality of higher education” in the UK.

"Open border" universities perform best in new U-Multirank rankings

The most internationally engaged "open border" universities perform best in the quality of their education, research impact, and knowledge transfer, according to U-Multirank, which has published its latest set of global rankings.

Augar proposals must not mean supporting FE at the expense of HE

The Augar review panel was right to highlight under-funding of further education, but addressing this should not mean cuts in the higher education budget, argues Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB).

Three HE leaders' first thoughts on Augar

As the sector begins to respond to the report from the post-18 education and funding review panel headed by Philip Augar, HEi-know asked three HE leaders for their initial impressions. Sir Peter Scott, professor of higher education studies at UCL's Institute of Education and former Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University; Dr Rhiannon Birch, head of planning and research at Sheffield University; and Professor Liz Barnes, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University all offered their thoughts.

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.

The pilot exercise will feed into a raft of evidence, including from a consultation, on how the KEF will operate in England.

Research England says it received an extremely high response rate to a January 2019 call for expressions of interest to take part in the pilot exercise, with interest expressed from every proposed KEF cluster across England. To reflect this exceptional level of interest, it has increased the pilot group from a previously published size of between 12 and 16 institutions to 21. These have been drawn from all of the proposed KEF clusters, and represent a diverse range of English higher education institutions, with a good geographical cross-section of institutions from across the country, it said.

English HEIs not involved in the pilot exercise can contribute to how the KEF could work by completing a survey as part of the consultation, which is open until 14 March 2019.

Research England’s Director of Knowledge Exchange, Alice Frost, said: "We are very pleased with the enthusiasm expressed by the sector to engage with the KEF through this pilot exercise. The high level of interest has allowed us to build a pilot group that includes universities from every one of the proposed KEF clusters and with a wide range of other characteristics. Having a fully representative group of pilot institutions is important to ensure the KEF is a robust and useful framework for universities and other users."

The KEF aims to provide institutions with new ways to understand, benchmark and improve their performance, and to provide business and other users of HEI knowledge with another source of potentially useful information.

Research England will work with the pilot group to test the specific metrics and proposed narrative statements, as well as the cluster membership, and how results should be presented, during a series of workshops between February and May 2019.

The outcomes of these workshops will be published in a report evaluating the pilot, alongside an analysis of consultation responses. Research England anticipates publishing these documents in early summer 2019, with final decisions on how the KEF should progress in 2019-20 in late summer 2019.

Research England published a document detailing proposals for how the Knowledge Exchange Framework could work, for consultation, in January 2019, seeking the higher education sector’s views on the proposals. The proposals set out in the KEF consultation document aim to implement a Government policy priority for the KEF set out in the Industrial Strategy White Paper in 2017. It is working with various other organisations to develop the KEF, including the devolved funding councils and executive bodies, learned societies, PraxisAuril, the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), the Office for Students, and other UKRI councils.


Pilot participants:


Cluster E

·       Coventry University

·       University of Plymouth

·       University of the West of England

·       Manchester Metropolitan University

Cluster X

·       London School of Economics and Political Science

·       Lancaster University

·       University of Essex

Cluster J

·       Teesside University

·       University of Worcester

 

Arts specialists

·       University of the Arts London

·       Arts University Bournemouth

·       The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Cluster M

·       Solent University, Southampton

·       Cumbria University


Social Science and Business (SSB) specialists

·       Bishop Grosseteste University

 

Cluster V

·       Imperial College London

·       University of Southampton

·       University of Oxford

·       University of Sheffield


Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) specialists

·       Cranfield University

·       Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

 

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