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Emerging HE policies highlight new political landscape

Interventionism is suddenly all the rage with the Westminster Conservative government, and higher education is feeling the impact as new policies and legislation are brought to bear on the sector, writes Johnny Rich, Chief Executive of Push and of the Engineering Professors’ Council.

Rethinking universities from the outside in

Mike Boxall, an independent researcher and consultant on higher education policies and strategies, and a senior adviser to PA Consulting, considers the emerging post-COVID world and its implications for the future of universities. His blog is based on a paper published recently by PA Consulting, and co-authored with its HE lead, Ian Matthias.

Is the government missing the real 'levelling up' value of HE?

The Westminster government should wake up to the full potential of higher education to help it meet its ‘levelling up’ goals, argues Professor Martin Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Staffordshire University.

After a week of 'people power' it is time to listen to students

Jonathan Baldwin, managing director of higher education at Jisc, reflects on a week that’s felt the force of people power – and says it’s time for university leaders to respond to students’ calls for change.

Whatuni award winners announced

Loughborough University has been named University of the Year for the second time in three years in the latest Whatuni Student Choice Awards.

The awards, based on over 41,000 student reviews collected from 150 UK institutions, saw post-92 universities largely outperformed their Russell Group counterparts in all categories this year.

The University of Sheffield was the only Russell Group institution to make the shortlist for the University of the Year category, while both Newman University and Norwich University of the Arts entered the top 10 in the University of the Year category for the first time.

Similarly, the North of England, along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, made more appearances in the top 3 than those in the South of England, and the Royal Agricultural University alone represented the South in the University of the Year category.

Commenting on the results, Simon Emmett, CEO at IDP Connect, said: "This year, high average review scores across all WUSCA categories demonstrate a widespread effort from UK institutions to both listen and respond to the needs of students. With the recent challenges facing the sector, to have obtained such high reports of satisfaction across all universities, including those outside of The Russell Group in key categories like Course and Lecturers, is a credit to the value and outstanding experience students feel they are receiving in their higher education. This is something the sector should be incredibly proud of achieving and these outstanding results would be welcomed in many other sectors during this difficult time."

The full list of award winners are:

Accommodation Category: University of Wales Trinity St David

Societies and Sports Category: Loughborough University

Students Union Category: University of Sheffield

Local Life Category: University of Strathclyde

Further Education College Category: DN Colleges Group

Giving Back Category: Nottingham Trent University

Prospective Student Engagement Category: Norwich University of the Arts

University Facilities Category: Loughborough University

Independent Higher Education Category: Oxford Business College

Postgraduate Category: Aberystwyth University

Student Support Category: Leeds Arts University

Job Prospects Category: Harper Adams University

Course and Lecturers Category: University of Wales Trinity St David

International Category: Aberystwyth University

University of the Year Category: Loughborough University

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