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To boost social mobility, we must first accept that it does not yet exist

As Staffordshire University launches a new widening access initiative, its Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes explains why she believes institutions like her own have a crucial role to play in making social mobility a reality.

Minimal Covid-19 impact on 2020 NSS results, analysis finds

The vast majority of students were satisfied with their university course in 2020, despite the Covid-19 lockdown from March, a sector-level analysis of the National Student Survey results has found.

Student complaints rise by nearly 21% in a year

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for higher education has reported almost a 21 per cent rise in the number of complaints it received from students last year – rising to their highest ever level at 2,371.

The OIA says in its annual operating report that it is the second consecutive year of significant rises in the number of complaints, which also rose by 20 per cent in 2018. It means the number of cases received by the OIA rose by 45 per cent from 2017 to 2019.

The report says that in 2019 the OIA also closed 2,185 cases - 27 per cent more than in the previous year. But it adds that while the OIA has continued to meet its key performance indicators for handling cases, "there are challenges in managing such a significant and sustained increase".

"We have continued to listen to students to better understand their needs and concerns. We have gathered more feedback than ever before from students who use our service, and used it to inform improvements to what we do," it adds.