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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.
The Office for Students is leaving it up to universities to decide on particular approaches to the Coronavirus pandemic rather than issuing specific guidance, and has promised to minimises its regulatory demands on the sector in response to the crisis.
A number of universities are presenting unverifiable marketing claims making it difficult for prospective students to make informed choices, according to a new Which? University investigation.
Almost a year after the advertising watchdog upheld a number of complaints about misleading information in higher education, the consumer champion found several universities are making unverifiable and potentially misleading claims.
Which? University carried out a review of comparative claims made by UK institutions and found that at least six universities included examples of unsubstantiated or unverifiable claims about their standing on their websites, in likely breach of advertising standards.
The review found a number of unjustified claims, which were not clearly verifiable including:
Which? University said it was particularly concerned about these comparative claims, given it is less than one year since the Advertising Standards Authority issued its comprehensive advice in November 2017 to universities about such claims and its rulings which upheld complaints about comparative claims made in university advertising. Where universities are making comparative claims about their relative performance, these should be verifiable and provided with sufficient qualifying information to ensure that prospective students are not misled.
Alex Hayman, Managing Director of Which? University, said:
"It is critical that prospective students can trust the facts that higher education institutions are putting forward. However, we've found numerous examples of universities falling short. We want universities to act responsibly in line with the ASA's guidelines as thousands across the country prepare to apply for the next step of their education in the coming weeks and months."
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