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Sandra Booth, Director of Policy and External Relations for the Council for Higher Education in Art & Design (CHEAD), reviews a week of higher education news in which concerns emerged over universities’ financial stability due to Covid-19 and the impact of the crisis on students.
A growing number of higher education conferences and events are being postponed or moved online in response to the Coronavirus restrictions.
Amid predictions that higher education will be changed forever by the current pandemic, Professor James Miller, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University, suggests the innovative ways the sector is responding to the crisis will make it even more valued in the future.
The current crisis has underlined the critical role played by the UK’s experts and researchers and the institutions supporting them, as well as the need for collaboration between them, says Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business.
As a growing number of universities move teaching and assessment online in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Derby is holding a virtual conference which aims to support staff in making the transition.
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
30 University of Leicester
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