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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.
Universities UK and GuildHE have commissioned the Quality Assurance Agency to develop a new approach to reviewing and enhancing the quality of UK TNE. QAA will consult on a new review method later this year and will launch a programme of in-country enhancement activity in 2021.
After a week of largely disappointing news for UK higher education, Nicola Owen, Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) at Lancaster University, fears that gloomy forecasts for the future of the sector may prove to be uncomfortably accurate.
A major international conference considered the digital revolution and its transformation of higher education, society, and the way technology affects the creation and use of knowledge.
Over 950 delegates from more than 85 countries attended the British Council’s 13th Going Global conference, held this year in Berlin from May 13-15. It is the world’s largest open gathering of leaders involved in international education, including government ministers, university and college heads, experts in tertiary education and technology, and industry chiefs.
The focus of the event was on how new technologies and platforms are changing the way that knowledge is produced, accessed and used globally.
Delegates were invited to consider the ethics of artificial intelligence and whether universities should get involved in its development, regardless of its potential for harm.
They explored how digital advances aid greater collaboration across nations and research disciplines and create new opportunities for public and industry engagement, as well as raise issues of openness, responsibility and accountability.
But while new technologies have the potential to democratise access to education, knowledge and employment opportunities, there is evidence they could also be deepening inequality, as benefits accrue to already advantaged groups.
The conference was being held at a significant time for the sector, with issues such as the rise of populism, threats to academic freedom, and the potential impact of Brexit looming large. 2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that helped unlock the free flow and exchange of people, education, ideas and culture between East and West.
A line-up of high profile speakers included Chris Skidmore, the UK universities and science minister, Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research in Germany, and Professor Dame Janet Beer, Universities UK President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool.
Media FHE provided official daily conference briefings from the event, published on the Going Global website. Further information and highlights can be found at #GoingGlobal2019 on Twitter.
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