Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 12th June 2020

Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 12th June 2020

HE Policy

Student and consumer protection (OfS, 10/06/2020)

The OfS has published guidance for registered providers about how we will approach the regulation of student protection during the period of disruption resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Letter to the Education Select Committee (29 May 2020) (OfS, 11/06/2020)

The letter provides information on what the Office for Students is doing in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Information, advice and guidance for prospective students (OfS, 10/06/2020)

This briefing note looks at how universities, colleges and others are responding to the challenges of delivering high-quality information, advice and guidance to prospective students through different channels, especially in the context of imminent decision deadlines.

Further CommentApplicants and students need clarity about next years’ provision (WonkHE, 09/06/2020)

Universities told to be honest with students over how coronavirus will affect classes (Telegraph, 10/06/2020)

English regulator: ‘universities must be clear about online delivery’ (THE, 10/06/2020)

‘A refund is more a matter for a university than the government,’ says Universities Minister (UB, 12/06/2020)

The House of Commons Petitions Committee yesterday held an oral evidence session on the refund tuition fees petition and pressing student concerns in light of the pandemic

Why encourage complaints when we’ve already decided to ignore them? (WonkHE, 09/06/2020)

DfE and OfS have been telling students to complain if the “quality isn’t there”. Jim Dickinson digs into the rationale for a Covid complaint.

For universities, persuading government post-Covid-19 will mean persuading voters (WonkHE, 07/06/2020)

Rachel Wolf argues that government priorities post-Covid-19 are increasingly clear, and universities have a chance to influence if they respond now to the changing political landscape

Next Term

Coronavirus: Should I go to university this year? (BBC, 09/06/2020)

It’s a big decision – even more so this year, with many lectures due to take place online and socialising very difficult.

‘I feel like a number’: unhappy UK students blocked from deferring studies (Guardian, 06/06/2020)

Students anxious about their next year at university are being told coronavirus isn’t a reason to pause their degree

Making big decisions in an information vacuum (HEPI, 10/06/2020)

In a normal recruitment cycle, prospective students are able to scrutinise every aspect of the university through a wide range of resources.

Students: What are the polls saying about the next academic year? (HEPI, 09/06/2020)

Overall, the results are positive for the higher education sector. The overwhelming majority of students are:

Vast majority of students eager to return to campus (UB, 09/06/2020)

A survey for Unite Students found 89% of respondents keen to head back, provided their university had implemented the requisite safety measures

Why can’t the sector get in tune about September? (WonkHE, 11/06/2020)

Warm words and talk of unique experiments are not enough to reassure university applicants that are facing an uncertain first term.

Are community and Covid-19 mutually exclusive? (WonkHE, 12/06/2020)

As universities begin to publish their press releases, statements and videos outlining how they will run in September, the majority of the content relates to how they will teach and provide services, and how students will physically access campuses – if at all.

Student sport can’t be an optional extra in September’s offer (WonkHE, 12/06/2020)

UCAS research says that right now, 1 in 4 students are saying that their biggest single worry is “missing out on the experience”.

Students and their unions face a triple whammy this autumn (WonkHE, 11/06/2020)

What I have learned is that Students’ Unions have all the potential to inspire and to shape the future leaders of tomorrow.

What can universities promise about student life in September? Who knows (WonkHE, 09/06/2020)

As government guidance has gradually been introduced for various industries, workplaces and facilities, people – including those that run universities – are starting to get a grip on what the “new normal” may look like.

Student Numbers, Admissions, and UCAS

Thinking of deferring your university place? Here’s why that might not be a good idea (Telegraph, 08/06/2020)

As 23 per cent of students consider deferring their university places to 2021, we hear from the experts why this may not be the best idea

Universities report surge in interest in nursing degrees (UB, 08/06/2020)

Applications, acceptances and searches soar during the Covid-19 crisis

Prospective students may consider deferring, but so far few are taking action (WonkHE, 12/06/2020)

There’s plenty of nervousness about September, but current data indicates the recruitment cycle is on track, says Sander Kristel.

Should students take the gamble? (WonkHE, 07/06/2020)

Jim Dickinson considers whether and how universities might encourage students to not defer in September.

University Funding and University Status

Universities face £463m funding drop after third of East Asian students plan to cancel or delay offers (Telegraph, 07/06/2020)

The drop in student expenditure roughly equates to the annual income of a mid-sized UK university

Further CommentUniversities face £460m loss from expected drop in east Asian students (Guardian, 08/06/2020)

UK universities face £463m loss from east Asia student decline (THE, 08/06/2020)

LSE’s financial woes spotlight wider issues for sector (THE, 10/06/2020)

The London School of Economics will take a massive hit from loss of international students

Tuition Fees and Student Finance

Rethinking value for money for socially distanced times (WonkHE, 07/06/2020)

Paul Gratrick applies learning from a study of students’ perceptions of value for money to university planning for September 2020.

International Students, VISAs and UKVI

China: pilot aims to boost online learning at home (PIE, 12/06/2020)

Jisc has announced a cloud-based pilot to help students in China who have returned home continue their studies with four UK universities.

UK sector bodies propose national loan scheme to kickstart int’l recruitment (PIE, 10/06/2020)

UK sector bodies have proposed a national loan scheme for students from selected countries among a range of measures to maximise the UK’s competitiveness as it kickstarts the recovery of international student recruitment.

UK: MP warns of issues that may deter students (PIE, 08/06/2020)

The chair of the UK’s APPG for universities has said that issues with accommodation and racism send the wrong message to prospective international students.

East Asian students would prefer a delay to the academic year, reports British Council (UB, 08/06/2020)

The update looks at how Covid-19 has influenced overseas study plans in eight East Asian markets

Universities ‘should pay overseas student levy to British Council’ (THE, 12/06/2020)

Former universities minister Jo Johnson says co-funding model could be a way to help save the under-threat organisation

Overseas Activity and Internationalisation

Sector wide int’l consultation maps UK TNE (PIE, 10/06/2020)

UUK, GuildHE and the QAA for Higher Education have endorsed new findings that will map out future of approaches to enhancement of UK TNE.

Internationalisation Post-COVID: what the new “International” might look like (CABS, 09/06/2020)

The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has clearly thrown the world into a state of uncertainty about the future. For business schools, this is a very challenging and worrying time for internationalisation activity.

Asia ‘may compete with UK’ on international students post-Covid (THE, 12/06/2020)

UK could face different competition for overseas students in future, but expert questions assumption that TNE will benefit

Widening Participation

Disillusioned black Oxford students unwilling to help attract others (Guardian, 12/06/2020)

Leading BAME society says more must be done to foster anti-racist environment

A call to action on widening participation in the era of Covid-19 (HEPI, 08/06/2020)

Gains in recent years in access and participation risk being swept away by Covid-19. A clear-headed response on where and how to prioritise is required.

Student Experience and Standards

Why we need a student panel (OfS, 09/06/2020)

OfS board member Kate Lander reflects on the impact of our student panel, and why the student voice needs to be listened to.

University students finding teaching better since lockdown, survey suggests (Telegraph, 11/06/2020)

The Student Academic Experience Survey found more positive ratings of teachers after lectures and seminars moved online

Further Comment: 10 killer facts from today’s HEPI / Advance HE Student Academic Experience Survey (HEPI, 11/06/2020)

Crisis ‘may have impacted’ UK student perceptions of value already (THE, 11/06/2020)

More students say university not value for money (BBC, 11/06/2020)

Source text: Better assessment impresses students, but Covid-19 impacts perceptions of value for money (HEPI, 11/06/2020)

Data analysisStudent academic experience in 2019-20 (WonkHE, 10/06/2020)

Assessment 2020: what happened – and what next? (JISC, 11/06/2020)

Universities had to make radical and rapid changes to assessment this spring. We take a look at what they did, the challenges they faced and what it all means for the long-awaited move to more authentic and adaptable assessment.

Curbing student complaints caused by Covid-19 (THE, 06/06/2020)

Universities must ensure students are satisfied with Covid-19 contingency plans to offset complaints and requests for refunds,

Learning and Teaching

Lecturer and student relationships matter even more online than on campus (Guardian, 08/06/2020)

Teaching students online isn’t about pontificating on a stage, it’s about developing meaningful relationships

We Are Not in the Same Boat (Inside Higher Ed, 09/06/2020)

Considering differing circumstances’ impact on virtual learning.

‘Online learning is here to stay – so we must work out how to do it well’ (JISC, 11/06/2020)

The rapid shift to online work and study has forced providers to extend already over-stretched budgets.

Why online learning doesn’t have to be a poor experience (UB, 12/06/2020)

James Clay, head of HE at Jisc, discusses how universities can harness the opportunity for digital transformation presented by coronavirus

Engaging a Village: Effective Strategies to Reach Every Corner of the Lecture Hall (Faculty Focus, 10/06/2020)

As educators, we often struggle to provide an effective learning environment for the students who are easily distracted and clamoring for more support.

Teaching with Unknowns: Finding Meaning in Your Online Course Delivery (Faculty Focus, 08/06/2020)

While there is no shortage of data about COVID-19, finding meaning within that data has been another matter entirely.

No, the future of higher education is not online (WonkHE, 08/06/2020)

For Simon Harper, predictions of an online or blended future for higher education post Covid-19 ignore the fast-moving pivot to distributed work.

Our forced migration to online classes is a time to rethink how we teach (THE, 07/06/2020)

As we integrate online learning more into on-campus classes, let’s break away from synchronous classroom models, says Dilip Soman

Pastoral Concerns

Supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic students – event video published (OfS, 12/06/2020)

A full recording of an event on support for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students during the pandemic is now available.

Digital wellbeing during lockdown: the staff perspective (JISC, 11/06/2020)

As universities and colleges respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff wellbeing should be a priority.

Digital wellbeing during lockdown: the student perspective (JISC, 09/06/2020)

Life under lockdown has meant that students have had to get to grips with new ways of working, which can prove very stressful.


Launch of the Embedding Employability Framework guide (Advance HE, 08/06/2020)

A new guide has been developed to complement the Embedding Employability framework. Authors Maureen Tibby and Stuart introduce the guide alongside considering some key issues for the sector.

Assessing competences could equip graduates for an uncertain post-Covid future (WonkHE, 10/06/2020)

Instead of pivoting towards training, universities should seek to instil and assess competences, says Jenny Louise Lawrence.

Universities in the Community

‘Prioritise professional subjects in Covid-19 recovery’, says poll (THE, 11/06/2020)

University Alliance survey suggests public support is highest for applied degrees

Further AnalysisMeet the people – a lesson in asking the public the right question about universities (WonkHE, 11/06/2020)

Digital culture work should forge new connections (WonkHE, 08/06/2020)

Universities must look beyond making cultural works digitally available towards connecting people to one another, and to new forms of creative activity, say Dinah Birch and James Coe.

IT in HE

Can Big Tech solve university funding crisis? (Telegraph, 11/06/2020)

Increased enmeshing of the two sectors seems inevitable – but it could spawn a two-tier university system

Online Learning Is Not the Future (Inside Higher Ed, 10/06/2020)

Technology advocates may see online teaching as the best path forward, but one important audience vociferously disagrees: students, Peter C. Herman writes.

Modelling the future: how the power of data will forge a post-COVID road to recovery (JISC, 12/06/2020)

From analysing how many people are catching trains during lockdown to understanding who is at highest risk from the virus, data is proving invaluable during the pandemic.

A window into humanity: how learning analytics can support remote delivery (JISC, 12/06/2020)

Learning analytics systems typically measure data on resource usage, attendance, and so on. This is no different during lockdown, it’s just that the data collected is a bit different


Postgraduate research students (OfS, 11/06/2020)

This note explores the particular challenges postgraduate research students are facing during the pandemic, and highlights the practical ways in which universities, colleges, research organisations, higher education sector bodies and research funders have been supporting them.

HE financial crisis risks ‘lost generation of researchers’ (THE, 11/06/2020)

Support for early career scholars must be explored to avoid research being damaged in the long term,

Big data struggles to show its value for social sciences (THE, 09/06/2020)

Failure to improve predictions compounds concerns over effectiveness, accuracy and racial bias

Three challenges facing academic research during the Covid-19 crisis (THE, 12/06/2020)

Research from a team at Henley Business School highlights the funding, time and location constraints on academic research during the pandemic

Equality and Diversity

Only a fifth of UK universities say they are ‘decolonising’ curriculum (Guardian, 11/06/2020)

Just 24 out of 128 asked about reforms to address colonial legacy are committed to idea

If universities struggle financially, BAME academics will lose their jobs first (Guardian, 10/06/2020)

BAME academics’ jobs tend to be less secure, but losing them would send universities backwards

Drama schools accused of hypocrisy over anti-racism statements (Guardian, 06/06/2020)

UK’s leading institutions apologise after current and former students highlight racist incidents

Dear senior leaders, what will you say you did at this moment to address racism in HE? (PIE, 09/06/2020)

5 rules for leaders when challenging racism (Advance HE, 08/06/2020)

At the Advance HE online BAME Leadership Summit on 19 May, Binna Kandola OBE gave us his insights into ‘modern racism’ and how leaders can clamp down on it in higher education

Universities can and should do much more to address systemic racism (THE, 12/06/2020)

An inadequate response to the death of George Floyd will diminish universities in the eyes of their increasingly diverse students, says ’Funmi Olonisakin

Online classrooms will expose inequalities, but this is an opportunity for change (THE, 08/06/2020)

The reboot of universities post-Covid against a backdrop of anti-racist protests makes decolonising the curriculum imperative

Administration and Governance

Creating the conditions for teams to flourish (Advance HE, 09/06/2020)

Shirley Wardell explains how leaders can foster exceptional team-working in an online world

Implementing an effective Strategic Equality Impact Assessment (SEIA) (Advance HE, 10/06/2020)

As senior leaders are required to take agile and responsive decisions of unprecedented scope to meet the challenges of Covid-19, a proactive approach to understanding and addressing the equality impacts of these actions is vital.

Trends, Developments and Opinions

As they slip in the world rankings, what is the future of British universities? (Telegraph, 12/06/2020)

Funding is down. Prestige is taking a nosedive. Classes are online. Is it still worthwhile to pursue your degree at a UK university?

Further CommentUK universities suffer worst-ever rankings in world league table (Guardian, 10/06/2020)

UK, US drop in latest QS World University Rankings, Asia gains ground (PIE, 11/06/2020)

Bring back Brexit! (HEPI, 12/06/2020)

While the ‘corona crunch’ has distracted the sector the clock certainly has not stopped ticking on the UK-EU negotiations