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Reviewing the past week's higher education news, Rachel Hewitt, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Higher Education Policy Institute, takes issue with claims that UK higher education is "broken" and sees encouraging signs that it is addressing issues over diversity.
Professor Malcolm Todd, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost (academic and student experience) at the University of Derby, comments on what he sees as the most significant higher education news and opinions making headlines in the first week of 2020.
Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, introduces the launch of Year Three of UUKi's Go International: Stand Out campaign, calling on employers to promote the value of international experience.
University leaders have written to the University and College Union to formally outline their commitment to continuing to work with UCU to deliver long-term reform of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. The move comes as UCU members at 60 universities begin strike action in disputes over both pensions and pay.
A platform providing a single access point for businesses to university expertise and funding opportunities has been further developed by the National Centre for Universities and Business, Research England, and UK Research and Innovation, to help 'smart match' business and industry with higher education institutions, in a bid to boost R&D collaboration. Shivaun Meehan, Head of Communications at the NCUB, outlines the latest features of Konfer.
Eight out of 10 postgraduate students taking a taught course in the UK report continued satisfaction with the experience over a five-year period.But a survey of more than 70,000 postgraduates across 85 higher education institutions who responded to the Advance HE Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) highlights for the first time areas where institutions could do better still to boost satisfaction levels.
The next government should adopt policies on graduate employment that reflect a less simplistic outlook than the current regime, argues Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer at the Institute of Student Employers, which has just published its manifesto wish list.
Postgraduate researchers are suffering high levels of anxiety and many want more support, according to new research.
UCAS has partnered with Edtech startup, Unibuddy, to digitally connect undergraduate applicants to current students at universities and colleges across the UK. Diego Fanara - CEO of Unibuddy, explains how the new platform benefits both prospective students and higher education institutions.
For a comprehensive roundup of the current week's HE news, please visit our live HE News Roundup page
Friday April 29
WARNING SIGNS AS UNIVERSITIES ENJOY "BOOM TIME"
Former Financial Times education correspondent Miranda Green examines the significant investment in campus developments by UK universities buoyed by rising fee income and low borrowing rates, but warns there are risks associated with this growth, particularly through trends in income from international students.
GRADUATES BEGIN TO FEEL THE IMPACT OF STUDENT LOANS
Professor John Cater, Vice-Chancellor of Edge Hill University, looks at the potential long-term impact of student loan repayments now being faced by those leaving university last summer.
TEN UNIVERSITIES WHERE STUDENTS GET THE HIGHEST GRADES
The Independent lists the top ten universities where students are awarded the highest grades, according to the Complete University Guide.
OPPOSITION DAY DEBATE ON PLANS TO SCRAP NHS BURSARIES
Heidi Alexander, Labour’s shadow health secretary, has called an “opposition day debate” on the government’s plans to scrap NHS bursaries for student nurses and midwives. The debate, on May 4, will be based on a cross-party motion igned by 139 MPs from all major parties, including the Conservative MP and former nurse Maria Caulfield.
BATH UNIVERSITY TO OPEN LONDON BASE
The University of Bath is to set up a facility in London's Pall Mall to enhance the impact of its academic research and expand its executive education offer. The facility, to be opened in the autumn, will be used for workshops, master classes and networking events with existing and new business partners.
LIFETIME LEARNING AND MATURE STUDENTS NEED TO BE VALUED, SAYS VC
Peter Horrocks, vice chancellor of the Open University, argues that lifetime learning must be valued as highly as traditional degrees and part-time and mature students should be given the same amount of support as sixth formers going to university.
OUTWARDLY MOBILE STUDENTS VITAL TO SOFT POWER AGENDA, SAYS WILLETTS
David Willetts, the former universities minister, said outbound student mobility was essential to the country’s soft power agenda. Speaking at the International Unit's Go International event this week, Willetts said two-way mobility programmes facilitate negotiations with overseas partners.
HIGHER EDUCATION SPENDING INCREASES BY 6 PER CENT
Spending on UK higher education providers increased by 6 per cent in 2014-15 to £31.2 billion, new figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show. Some £33.2 billion in income was received by UK higher education in the last full academic year, up from £30.7 billion in 2013-14, an 8.1 per cent rise.
CLAIMS THAT ECONOMICS LECTURER HAS BEEN REASSIGNED BECAUSE HE IS "TOO RADICAL"
Alberto Paloni, a Glasgow University economics lecturer whose teaching material has been described as “too radical”, has been stopped from teaching a core degree module, leading to claims of further erosion in the pluralism of economics degrees. He is an expert in post-Keynesian theory. A spokeswoman for the university said the reassign of Dr Paloni came was part of the normal review process.
GUIDE SHOWS UNIVERSITIES WITH THE HIGHEST PROPORTION OF FIRSTS AND UPPER SECONDS
University applicants who want to graduate with a first or upper second class honours degree should try to get in to Oxbridge, according to the latest Complete University Guide (CUG) rankings. The two universities have the highest proportion of the top honours degrees, followed by St Andrews and Durham.
STUDENT DEBT COULD PUT THE LESS AFFLUENT OFF GOING TO UNIVERSITY
An opinion piece in the Guardian suggests that the big debts that English students face could deter young people from less affluent backgrounds.
Editor's 8am overviewThe Times follows up on the FT's story today on universities funding with low-cost loans an "expansion boom" to attract more international students, holding up as an example UCL's announcement on a £280m loan from the European Investment Bank to pay for campus developments.The BBC follows on the Sutton Trust report on graduate debt with a video asking whether a degree is worth the investment.Meanwhile, HEi-know raises the curtain on Media FHE's coverage next week of the British Council's Going Global conference in Cape Town, where a sizeable contingent of UK vice-chancellors and international staff will gather to network and debate a wide range of international HE issues. You can follow our coverage on the Going Global and Media FHE websites and on Twitter @HEGoingGlobal #GoingGlobal2016.
ACADEMIC LIFE CAN BE A RECIPE FOR ANXIETY
A contributor to the Guardian's Academics Anonymous column describes life as an academic suffering from generalised anxiety disorder, with symptoms often triggered by the demands and challenges of being an academic on a fixed term contract.
FAKE NOTTINGHAM TRENT DISSERTATION GOES VIRAL
A Nottingham Trent University student's Twitter post went viral when it featured a photo of the title page of his dissertation featuring everyday Millennial slang.
UNIVERSITIES BORROW £3BN FOR NEW EXPANSION BOOM
The Times reports that universities in London are leading a move by the sector to borrow over £3 billion to fund an "unprecedented era of expansion" and meet booming demand for places from international students. It holds up as an example University College London's announcement that it has secured a £280 million loan, the largest amount lent to a university by the European Investment Bank, to pay for a new campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London and upgrade and expand buildings on the Bloomsbury campus. University Business also has an article on the UCL loan and campus developments.
OBSESSION WITH RANKINGS CAN OBSTRUCT GLOBAL HE COLLABORATION, CONFERENCE HEARS
A “designer handbag” approach to university partnerships based on global rankings is obscuring the real opportunities for partnership between universities across the world with common interests, the British Council’s Going Global 2016 conference will hear.
Thursday April 28
GRADUATE DEBT: IS IT WORTH IT?
In a video the BBC looks at the findings of the Sutton Trust report showing that graduate debt in England is higher than in any other Anglophone country, and examines whether a degree is worth the investment.
FORMER ARCHBISHOP CALLS ON CAMBRIDGE TO DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, now master of Magdalene college, has called for Cambridge University to divest from fossil fuels. He made his comments in a foreword to a 74-page report on divestment by student campaign group Cambridge Zero Carbon Society.
BENEFITS OF BREXIT
Philip B. Whyman, professor of economics and Director of the Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research at the University of Central Lancashire, sets out the economic arguments in favour of the UK leaving the EU.
Editor's 8am overviewThe Sutton Trust has raised the spectre of graduate debt in England with a report that shows this is now higher than average levels in other Anglophone countries, including the United States. The story has predictably been picked up by a wide range of media. Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that, fuelled by rising fee income, UK universities are enjoying a "boom time" leading to significant growth in their estate.An unreported study by Hobsons and Buila, covered today by HEi-know in a Briefing Report, reveals the extent to which UK higher education has been adversely affected by government student visa and immigration policies. Also on HEi-know, we look at two new pieces of research from the Leadership Foundation for HE examining leadership issues, including managing the process of demonstrating impact in the Research Excellence Framework.UCAS publishes interim applicant figures today, as Which? University produces survey findings showing that many applicants regrets their A level choices.
BOOM TIME FOR UK UNIVERSITIES LEADS TO EXPANSION
Financial Times columnist Miranda Green points to a £280m loan to University College London to fund ambitious expansion plans as a sign of "boom times" for UK universities, fuelled by rising fee income, leading to significant expansion and investment in capital growth.
MORE FOCUS NEEDED ON STUDENT RETENTION
David Laws, chair of the UPP Foundation advisory board and minister for schools and the Cabinet Office in the previous coalition government, argues that there needs to be more attention paid to issues such as support for mental health that can affect retention of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
FIRST NON-STEM ATHENA SWAN AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The first arts, humanities and social science university departments to win an Athena SWAN gender equality award have been announced. Overall, 84 successful Athena SWAN awards, including seven at institutional level, were granted from 128 applications. The University of Sheffield picked up a silver institutional award, while departments at the universities of Lancaster, Sheffield Hallam, and Hull were among bronze award winners; and departments at Exeter University, Leicester, and Sheffield were among silver award winners.
HEFCE QUALITY PLAN REPRESENTS "GRAB FOR POWER" CRITICS WARN
Terms and conditions under the Higher Education Funding Council for England's plans to outsource quality assurance represent a "worrying move for power in the sector", according to critics of the proposals.
GRADUATE DEBT HIGHER IN ENGLAND THAN OTHER ANGLOPHONE COUNTRIES
Graduate debt in England has risen to higher levels than in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the rest of the UK, according to a report from the Sutton Trust. Typical English graduate debt under the £9,000 fees system in England is £44,500 and could rise to £50,000, compared for example with £19,100 to £29,100 in the US.
A THIRD OF UNIVERSITY APPLICANTS REGRET A LEVEL CHOICES, SURVEY FINDS
Nearly a third of university applicants wish they had chosen different A level subjects, according to research from Which? University. A survey of over 1,000 students conducted by Youthsight for Which? also found that four in ten wished they had thought more about what subjects might help them get into university.
BIG BROTHER WORRIES MUST NOT HOLD UP LEARNING ANALYTICS
Phil Richards, chief innovation officer at JISC, argues that concerns over the ethical use of learning analytics must not be allowed to hold up progress in this vital area.
Wednesday April 27
THE VALUE OF EMPLOYER-SPONSORED DEGREES
Professor David Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University, sets out the case for supporting more employer-sponsored degrees.
UNIVERSITIES MAY BE URGED TO HELP BUILD STUDENTS' CHARACTER, CONFERENCE TOLD
Universities may soon be called upon to follow schools in delivering "character education" to build their students' social capital, a conference on the future of STEM subjects heard.
AFRICAN "RUSSELL GROUP-STYLE" ALLIANCE OPENS UP OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE WEST
A new “Russell-Group type” alliance of 15 leading research-intensive institutions from eight African countries opens up opportunities for more Western collaborations with African universities outside South Africa, according Jo Beall, the British Council’s director of education and society. Speaking to THE ahead of the British Council’s annual Going Global conference, which will be held in Cape Town from 3 to 5 May, she warned that Western universities must prove they do not have ‘imperialist’ designs on the continent.
NURSES WARNING OVER PLAN TO SCRAP STUDENT BURSARIES
Nurses at Unison's annual health conference have warned that safe staffing in hospitals could be at risk as the government's plans to scrap student bursaries reduce the supply of new recruits.
Editor's 8am overview
Questions over the value of a degree have surfaced again following publication of figures by BIS showing a fall in the proportion of graduates entering graduate jobs. Though the actual drop is small, at 2.2 per cent, it is likely to keep policymakers' minds trained on how to better inform prospective students about their job prospects. Overseas students, however, may be more likely to be influenced in their university choice on whether it has featured in a movie, according to a report from the BBC.With the devolved elections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland looming, the Campaign for Science and Engineering has gathered together and analysed the main parties' science and engineering policies.Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that the American higher education jobs consultant Karen Kelsy is touring the UK warning that our universities are beginning to suffer from the same negative impact of insecure academic contracts and soaring student debt that is afflicting the US sector.
CASE ANALYSES POLITICAL PARTIES' SCIENCE POLICIES IN DEVOLVED ELECTIONS
The Campaign for Science and Engineering has gathered together and analysed the main political parties' science and engineering policies for the forthcoming devolved elections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
LANCASTER SIGNS MOU WITH SOUTH AFRICAN ACADEMY
The University of Lancaster has signed a memorandum of understanding with Gauteng City Region Academy in South Africa to explore mutually beneficial collaborative research, training and exchanges.
STUDY SUGGESTS OVERSEAS STUDENTS' CHOICE OF UNIVERSITY IS INFLUENCED BY FILMS
The BBC looks at to what extent international students are influenced by films in their choice of university, following a study of Chinese and South Korean students that suggests this is so. The story cites the University of Leicester's links with Bollywood which it says has raised its profile among Indian students.
TOP 10 UNIVERSITIES IN LONDON
The Independent follows up on the publication of the Complete University Guide league table on Monday with a ranking of the top ten universities in London, according to the Guide.
Tuesday April 26
MILLION+ AND NUS URGE STUDENTS TO "VOTE REMAIN"
Students have been urged to vote for the UK to remain in the European Union in an open letter from the new universities association Million+ and the National Union of Students.
ACADEMICS SHOULD WORK MORE CLOSELY WITH POLICYMAKERS
Mark Shucksmith, professor of planning and director of the Institute for Social Renewal at Newcastle University, argues that academics can better use their research to inform and work more closely with policymakers. The THE also reports on a paper from Professor Shucksmith, published by the Carnegie UK Trust, in which he presents his case.
THE Carnegie paper
HIGHER EDUCATION JOBS CONSULTANT SOUNDS WARNING OVER ACADEMIC CONTRACTS
American higher education jobs consultant Karen Kelsy is warning that UK universities are beginning to suffer from the same negative impact of insecure academic contracts and soaring student debt that is afflicting the US sector.
NEW GOVERNMENT FIGURES RAISE MORE QUESTIONS OF VALUE OF A DEGREE
New labour market statistics published by the government show there was a 2.2 per cent drop in the number of 21 to 30-year-old graduates in skilled work in 2015 compared with a year earlier, raising further questions over the value of a degree. Meanwhile, in the Guardian, journalist Helen Whitehouse argues that non-graduates can often have an advantage in the jobs market.
The annual Ross-CASE report has been published, providing a snapshot of trends in philanthropic giving to universities. The latest statistics suggest universities will need to work harder at developing alumni relations, as the number of donors is not increasing -- but the report warns there is a risk that regulations introduced by the Etherington Review on fundraising could act as obstacles.
Elsewhere, "no-platforming" by student unions continues to make headlines, with London mayor Boris Johnson the latest target, following his comments on American President Barack Obama's heritage. An NUS official has stoked the flames by arguing that the policy is right because "some people have more equal rights than others".
Cambridge University is ruffling feathers on the research front with its submission to the REF review, calling for all academic staff to be submitted.
CONSULTATION ON UK INNOVATION LAUNCHED
The UK government has opened a public consultation on innovation to help it develop a National Innovation Plan to be published later this year.
SURREY WELCOMES NEW VC
World-renowned academic and engineer, Professor G.Q. Max Lu, has taken up post as the fifth President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Surrey, following the departure of Professor Sir Christopher Snowden at the end of last year. Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Kearney, will take up the role of Provost.
EDINBURGH STUDENTS IN PROTEST AGAINST PREVENT STRATEGY
Students at Edinburgh University are staging at sit-in to protest over the UK-wide implementation of the government's Prevent counter-terrorism measures on campus. Meanwhile, Edinburgh has introduced a policy of monitoring the social media activity of student activists to keep abreast of campaigns and protests.
NUS OFFICER SAYS "SOME PEOPLE HAVE MORE EQUAL RIGHTS THAN OTHERS"
A National Union of Students officer defending the NUS policy of "no platforming" controversial speakers on campus has said that "some people have more equal rights than others".
TORY BACKBENCHERS OPPOSE COMPULSORY ACADEMIES
Education secretary Nicky Morgan faces a revolt from Tory backbenchers over the government's plans to require all schools in England to become academies.
CAMBRIDGE CALLS FOR ALL STAFF TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE REF
The University of Cambridge has called for a shake-up of the Research Excellence Framework under which all academic staff at each university, even those on teaching-only contracts, would be submitted to the REF. The proposal, contained in Cambridge's submission to the Stern review of the REF, has been opposed by the University Alliance.
REPORT HIGHLIGHTS GROWING IMPORTANCE OF ALUMNI DONATIONS
The value of fostering good alumni relations is hightlighted in a report on the latest Ross-CASE survey on philanthropic giving in UK higher education, which shows that the sector is receiving more generous gifts from a flat number of donors. HEi-know has a briefing report on all the key findings. The THE reports on a warning from CASE on the possible impact of regulations introduced by the Etherington review on fundraising.
HEi-know Briefing Report 294
Monday April 25
STANFORD ADVISERS CALLED IN TO HELP UK UNIVERSITIES COMMERCIALISE RESEARCH
Consultants from Stanford University have been called in to advise UK universities and Whitehall mandarins on how to boost commercialisation of research, including demanding less equity share in spinouts.
MORE STUDENTS TURN TO CROWDFUNDING TO FINANCE THEIR STUDY
The Guardian looks at the growing number of students turning to crowdfunding sites to help them cover the cost of their study, and talks to some who have managed to raise money.
TOP TEN UNIVERSITIES FOR LAUNCHING CAREERS
The Independent lists the top ten universities for graduate prospects leading to professional careers or higher level study, according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.
GREENWICH BACKS FOREIGN TALENT WITH VISA COMPETITION
The Financial Times looks at an initiative from the University of Greenwich where overseas students are invited to pitch for one of 20 graduate entrepreneur visas allocated to the institution.
STUDENTS SUPPORT NUS "NO PLATFORM" POLICY
Nearly two thirds of students support the National Union of Students in its policy of "no platforming" controversial speakers on campus, a survey suggests. The Independent reports that in response to the findings, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has said the NUS policy has "gone too far" and is supressing free speech. Meanwhile, Telegraph columnist Brendan O'Neill questions a decision by a student society at King's College London to withdraw an invitation to speak to Boris Johnson over his comments about American President Barack Obama's heritage.
SHOULD UNIVERSITIES ASK FOR DONATIONS FROM THEIR ALUMNI?
Richard Budd, a lecturer in education studies at Liverpool Hope University, challenges the growing practice by universities of seeking donations from their alumni.
COMPLETE UNIVERSITY GUIDE SHOWS STEADY STATE IN UNIVERSITY RANKINGS
There is little turbulence in this year’s university rankings published by the Complete University Guide, with few big risers or fallers. This year the Guide has also produced a league table of institutions with the most and least number of unresolved student complaints, the THE reports. Kent is among universities in the top ten for the least number of unresolved cases, while Leicester finds itself among the ten with the most number.
Complete University Guide
THE student complaints
Sunday April 24
NEW NUS PRESIDENT REJECTS CRITICISM
Writing in The Guardian, the new NUS president Malia Bouattia responds to criticism against her saying reports that "depict me as a young Muslim who supports Isis" are "simply not true". She says she is "deeply concerned at accusations of anti-Semitism" - something she denies. The Daily Mail reports on student unions planning to cut ties with the NUS over Ms Bouattia's election, headed by Exeter University. The Huffington Post reports that NUS could face a financial crisis if threats to disaffiliate from it are carried out.
WHITE PAPER TO PAVE THE WAY FOR CHEAP DEGREES FROM PRIVATE PROVIDERS
COMPANIES such as Apple, Google and the education publisher Pearson will be allowed to award cut-price degrees to British students under proposals to be announced in a white paper next month.
MOOCS REPORT AN INCREASE IN INTEREST
MOOC provider Coursera says there has been a 50% increase in new registrations on its platform over the past year, driven by an interest in "flexible, career-relevant education among adults in the UK".
HAVING A SAY ON THE EU REFERENDUM
University Business asks several higher education figures from the UK what they believe a "Brexit" would mean for universities.
Saturday April 23
UNEASE OVER CHOICE OF NUS PRESIDENT GROWING
A campaign by students at some universities to break ties with the National Union of Students over the election of a new, controversial president is growing, according to The Telegraph. Exeter University students' union is to vote on disaffiliating and there are calls for a vote at Newcastle University, the paper says. The Times reports on the background of the new president, Malia Bouattia. Jack Grove, writing in THE, asks if the NUS has become too politically correct, prompted by officials asking Ms Bouattia's supporters not to clap when she won the vote, in case the noise upset others.
MORE THAN 90,000 STUDENT VISAS CURTAILED IN THREE YEARS
About 30,000 overseas students a year have had their visas for the UK curtailed in the past three years. Freedom of Information data released to the BBC also shows that 410 educational establishments had their licences to sponsor international students taken away in the same period.
BIS CUTS 'WOULD HIT RESEARCH COUNCILS AND OFFA'
Times Higher Education reports on a leaked document which suggests cuts to the UK research councils could mean a 17 per cent reduction in staff numbers. OFFA would also take a big hit under proposals from BiS for savings by 2020.
ACADEMIC MINISTERS BOOST RESEARCH PERFORMANCE
Times Higher Education reports that countries which have ministers in charge of higher education who have a background as academics or former university leaders boost research output.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE DOMINANT IN ACADEMIA
The English language has taken over academia, according to The Conversation. In universities in countries where English is not the official language, English is increasingly used in teaching, it says, and is often the language academics want their research published in.
WHAT ARE UNIVERSITIES DOING TO DEAL WITH SEXUAL VIOLENCE?
Universities UK has a blog from Professor Graham Towl about how universities are tackling the problem of sexual violence. He gave a talk on the issue at the organisation's conference last week and writes that "the key message from the day was about the importance of us as university communities talking about the problems of sexual violence and then taking actions".
ACTION NEEDED TO PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY
The Vice Chancellor of Liverpool University, Janet Beer, says urgent action is needed to improve the gender balance at senior levels in universities.
REASONS TO STAY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Writing in University Business, Angus Laing, Dean at Lancaster University Management School, says a vote for the UK to leave the European Union would have "far-reaching implications for the UK". Universities and business schools have big concerns over "future European funding and the potential loss of significant numbers of EU students", he says.
Friday April 22
BUCKINGHAM PLANS LEADERSHIP COLLEGE TO FAST TRACK GRADUATES INTO HEADSHIPS
The University of Buckingham is planning to launch a school leadership college that could train graduates to become headteachers after just two years of training.
NUS BRACED FOR ATTACKS OVER CONTROVERSIAL PRESIDENT ELECTION
The National Union of Students says it is braced for political attacks after its members elected the controversial left-wing candidate Malia Bouattia as NUS president. In a Guardian blog, Hannah Weisfeld, founder and director of the Anglo-Jewish group Yachad, argues it is Ms Bouattia's anti-Zionist stance that has caused furore.
OVERSEAS STUDENTS GAIN LESS THAN UK PEERS FROM WORK PLACEMENTS
International students benefit from work placements in their final year, but not nearly as much as their UK peers, a study has concluded.
CASUAL UNIVERSITY STAFF HAVE NO VOICE
A contributor to the Guardian's Academics Anonymous column complains that casual staff are forced to stay silent over issues they would raise as a permanent member of staff.
BURSARY LOSS ALREADY HITTING NURSING RECRUITMENT, INSTITUTE CHIEF WARNS
Parents are already advising their children not to study nursing as a result of the government’s plans to axe bursaries for nursing students and replace them with loans, according to Dr Crystal Oldman, chief executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute.
GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART PLANS £32M CITY CENTRE CAMPUS EXTENSION
Glasgow School of Art has announced plans for a major expansion of its city centre campus. A £20m fundraising drive to restore the Mackintosh building, damaged by fire in 2014, has raised £17m. That target will now be increased to £32m to cover the restoration and campus expansion.
NEW HE FOUNDATION WILL FUND UNIVERSITIES TO TACKLE KEY ISSUES
University Partnerships Programme, one of the UK's largest student accommodation providers, has launched the UPP Foundation, a charitable body that will award £2.5 million over the next five years to universities and other sector bodies to help tackle key issues such as student retention. The foundation has an advisory board that includes David Laws, former chief secretary to the Treasury, and Vice-Chancellors such as Sir David Greenaway, Mary Stuart and Sir Steve Smith, from the universities of Nottingham, Lincoln and Exeter. One of its first acts will be to fund Student Minds’ Student Living project, working in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, which will develop front-line staff training to deal with mental health issues.
INTO-UEA WINS QUEEN'S AWARD
INTO-UEA, a joint partnership between INTO University Partnerships and University of East Anglia, has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise honoured for its decade-long partnership which has generated approximately £60m in “additional annual revenues” for the university and local community.
STUDENT UNIONS THREATEN TO LEAVE NUS OVER ELECTION OF CONTROVERSIAL PRESIDENT
Student unions at leading universities including Oxford and Cambridge are threatening to disaffiliate from the National Union of Students after it elected a new President who faces accusations of anti-Semitism, and who once blocked a motion condemning Isis. The Huffington Post reports that Exeter students are among those threatening to leave NUS.
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