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The government's announcement of a major review of the National Student Survey signals a worrying shift in the HE regulatory landscape, warns Jon Scott, higher education consultant and former Pro Vice-Chancellor (student experience) at the University of Leicester.
Statements from ministers this week have made it clear that higher education in England is facing significant reforms, re-setting its focus towards helping to plug the UK's skills gaps and rebuilding the economy. Fariba Soetan, Policy Lead for Research and Innovation at the National Centre for Universities and Business, argues that the proposed changes bring a welcome focus on graduate outcomes and supporting the careers of young people.
Female academics in the UK are paid on average £6,103 a year less than their male peers, leaving an annual gender pay gap across the sector amounting to £528 million, a survey by the University and College Union has found.
Women are paid less than men at 154 universities across the sector, with the largest pay gaps at Russell Group institutions, a report on the findings says.
UCU is calling for universities to make faster progress towards equal pay, following recommendations for institutions to take action from the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "These colleges and universities should not have allowed such shameful levels of pay inequality to persist. It’s nearly 50 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force and they’re still flying in the face of it.
"Today on International Women’s Day, we would like to see a firm commitment from sector leaders to close the gap and are offering to work with institutions to make equal pay at every college and university a reality."
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