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Alison Johns, Chief Executive of Advance HE, reviews another week in which higher education found itself in the spotlight, even when a royal funeral dominated the headlines.
Charlie Ball, Head of Higher Education Intelligence for Prospects at Jisc, reviews a week of higher education news which felt much like every other since lockdown, as new research on graduate earnings and university admissions was published.
Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the Institute of Students Employers, reviews a week of HE news in which student accommodation, fee refunds, graduate jobs, and research funding surfaced as key issues.
Reviewing a week in which issues affecting women’s lives were in the spotlight, Sandra Booth, Director of Policy and External Relations at the Council for Higher Education Art and Design (CHEAD), sees hopeful signs of moves to address gender equality in higher education.
The Office for Students has launched a new competition for funding of up to £500,000 for universities and colleges looking for innovative ways to help students find graduate-level employment close to home.
Current evidence shows that students who move away from home to study or work are more likely to find highly skilled employment than those who stay at home. But the OfS says that many students, through choice or circumstance, study and then pursue careers in the area where they have grown up. The new funding competition will seek bids for workable programmes which help broaden choice for those graduates.
Higher education providers are being invited to propose innovative projects which test ways of improving transition into highly skilled employment for graduates and students who seek work in their home region. Between £100,000 and £300,000 per project is available, or up to £500,000 for collaborative bids involving providers working with strategic partners. The OfS suggested that projects could include, for example, those that aim to help particular groups of graduates work with partners to bring about change in the local labour market, or investigate and address the factors that influence decisions on where to work after graduation.
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students, said: "We are increasingly aware that many graduates have to, or choose to, stay in their home towns after they graduate. But, in some areas there are fewer graduate opportunities.
"The graduate labour market itself is unevenly distributed, with larger cities offering more varied jobs than smaller ones and rural areas. This competition will enable universities and colleges, working with students, local employers, and careers organisations, to identify the barriers to local graduate employment, and to find new solutions. This will help ensure graduates can use their degrees fully, supporting local and regional productivity, prosperity and social mobility."
Proposals must be emailed to localgradsCC@officeforstudents.org.uk by 1700 on Monday 26 November 2018.
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