Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 15th May 2020

Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 15th May 2020

HE Policy

Analysis of level 6 and 7 apprenticeships – Office for Students (OfS, 13/05/2020)
This report highlights key changes in the apprenticeship landscape since 2016-17 at levels 6 and 7.

Full tuition for online courses questioned (PIE, 11/05/2020)
Full tuition will be charged if UK unis remain closed and courses shift online, the universities minister has said, but stakeholders have warned that more investment may be necessary.

Mergers and ‘FE future’ predicted for some English universities (THE, 11/05/2020)
Universities hardest hit by coronavirus crisis might need to accept merger or mission shift in exchange for state aid, warn sector leaders

Russell Group head: crisis renders many policy metrics ‘valueless’ (THE, 08/05/2020)
University of Glasgow principal Sir Anton Muscatelli says inputs into England’s TEF will become unreliable owing to pandemic shocks

Next Term

Manchester University is first to confirm that all lectures next term will be delivered online (Telegraph,12/05/2020)
Others universities are likely to follow suit, since social distancing measures are likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future

What would a socially distant student experience be like? (WonkHE, 12/05/2020)
Much of the focus on what the start of the new academic year will be like has been on what people will be allowed to do. This ignores two other key restrictions; what we’ll be able to do, and what people will be willing to do.

Students need a staggered start next year (WonkHE, 07/05/2020)
Covid19 has created an environment that is “unprecedented”, and universities are working extremely hard to respond to the immediate needs of students and staff.

Student Numbers, Admissions, and UCAS

In this pandemic, admissions policy is being developed in real time (WonkHE, 14/05/2020)
If universities work in isolation they will need to accept that admission policy will be done “to them”, argues Graeme Slater.

Pandemic ‘will drive universities into lifelong education’ (THE, 15/05/2020)
Longevity experts predict that with universities forced online and desperate for new revenue, shift to older students will follow

University Funding and University Status

University of Edinburgh under ‘serious threat’ from pandemic (BBC, 15/05/2020)
Universities across Scotland fear they could lose out on £500m between them
Further Comment: Scottish universities demand SNP start paying full free tuition cost amid £650 million virus crisis (Telegraph, 14/05/2020)

Universities taught hard lessons in financial fight for survival (Telegraph, 10/05/2020)
A fall in overseas students poses an existential crisis for higher education chiefs

A bold plan for research will guide choices in a post-Covid economy (WonkHE, 10/05/2020)
The government’s 2.4 per cent target is no longer a sufficient policy goal. Beth Thompson argues that we need a fresh vision of research and its role in society.

From liquidity to solvency – what might a real bailout look like? (WonkHE, 11/05/2020)
Jim Dickinson goes hunting for clues for solutions to the emerging sector solvency crisis – and finds a report for Policy Exchange from David Goodhart.

Universities can’t be bailed out like a business (WonkHE, 11/05/2020)
As David Kernohan discovers, furlough pay and business continuity loans do little to address the specific financial risk profile that providers face.

The financial pressure is real – but please don’t penalise vulnerable graduate teachers (WonkHE, 08/05/2020)
Alexandra Neag, Greta Kaluzeviciute, and Olivia Arigho-Stiles urge universities not to penalise graduate teachers during these difficult financial times.

Tuition Fees and Student Finance

Message from David Wallace, Deputy CEO of the Student Loans Company (SLC, 13/05/2020)
Students in England thinking of going to University for the first time this autumn should complete their funding applications online as soon as possible.

International Students, VISAs and UKVI

Visa application issues could stop students reaching universities (PIE, 15/05/2020)
The closure of visa application centres around the world could prevent international students from reaching university campuses this September, according to industry stakeholders.

HE marketing must modernise – while remaining effective (PIE, 15/05/2020)
Marketing must be targeted and remain flexible as recruitment practices evolve due to changing circumstances

Light at the end of the Path(way)? (HEPI, 12/05/2020)
Covid-19 has impacted thousands of international higher education students either planning to study in the UK, or having already commenced their studies, and 5,000 of them are in the UK studying at Pathway colleges, currently preparing for university study.

UK postgraduate sector’s reliance on Chinese students spotlighted (THE, 14/05/2020)
Hepi report offers both negatives and positives on outlook for postgraduate recruitment in wake of pandemic crisis

Overseas student interest in UK ‘bounced back in April’ (THE, 09/05/2020)
Data on prospective student enquiries show demand to study in UK is strong despite coronavirus

Overseas Activity and Internationalisation

Resetting not recovering: greening post-pandemic international strategies (UUKi, 15/05/2020)
While a new global threat has emerged since the end of last year, the biggest threat facing the global community today remains unchanged – the climate emergency.

Widening Participation

Best laid plans? Ambitions for student access and participation in the new reality (Advance HE, 14/05/2020)
As the sector responds to rapid change, Jess Moody, Senior Adviser at Advance HE, asks how institutions can hold on to a vision of equitable student access, participation and success.

Delivering remote support for neurodiverse learners (WonkHE, 13/05/2020)
Remote learning presents a particular challenge for neurodiverse learners. Helen Ball from Diversity and Ability offers advice to help those supporting them.

The admissions problem isn’t just about “prediction” (WonkHE, 13/05/2020)
Amidst concern about predicting grades, are there wider access issues that Covid-19 generates? Hollie Baker thinks so.

What is a “new normal” in outreach work? (WonkHE, 13/05/2020)
As universities attempt outreach without physical intervention, we need to remember the purpose of outreach, says Andrew Ross.

Digital can’t replace face to face when it comes to widening participation (WonkHE, 14/04/2020)
Some claim the Covid-19 crisis marks a historic turning point for our use of digital technology. Hugh Rayment-Pickard isn’t so sure.

Student Experience and Standards

Technology can reduce exam stress – for both candidate and invigilator (JISC, 13/05/2020)
The coronavirus crisis increases pressure for teaching and learning over the internet, and online exams will follow. It’s time to assess the value of ‘e-proctoring’.

Fourteen Simple Strategies to Reduce Cheating on Online Examinations (Faculty Focus, 11/05/2020)
Many instructors are hesitant to include exams within their online courses because of the potential of compromising academic integrity.

Online invigilation will be a tough examination (THE, 13/05/2020)
The querulous minority are unlikely to mend their ways even in their own bedrooms, predicts Helen Soteriou

Teaching and Learning

Online learning: Are we asking the right questions? (HEPI, 13/05/2020)
Without warning, and almost overnight, the higher education sector has embarked on a whole-scale experiment in online learning.

Transitioning to Distance Learning: Three Tips for Teachers (Faculty Focus, 15/05/2020)
Beyond requiring people to cope with the anxieties of a pandemic that is causing people to lose their jobs, loved ones to fall ill, and normal life activities to cease, people have also had to adapt to an educational system that has been turned on its head

We must supplement Zoom with small-group, face-to-face teaching (THE, 15/05/2020)
Video conferencing is a reasonable substitute for lectures, but that is where it must end, say Robert Zaretsky and George Alliger

Teaching in the time of the coronavirus (THE, 10/05/2020)
Sir Keith Burnett is relieved to find that through online platforms, teachers can still connect with students and can give ideas life

Pastoral Concerns

Students without family support (OfS, 14/05/2020)
This briefing note looks at the practical steps universities and colleges are taking to help students without family support during the pandemic and beyond.

How the shutdown of the student economy is hitting the finances, health and educational prospects of care leavers and estranged
students (HEPI, 11/05/2020)
At the beginning of the lockdown, the Unite Foundation joined forces with Stand Alone, Become, the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) and Spectra to ask care-experienced and estranged students what their biggest concerns are and see how we, as a sector, can respond to their needs.

Offering Compassion and Care in Online Courses (Faculty Focus, 08/05/2020)
Every experienced instructor can read the mood of a class, even online, and it is impossible to miss the overwhelming sense of exhaustion and burnout among my students.


Gender pay gap is driving more women to do postgraduate degrees, study finds (Telegraph, 14/05/2020)
There has been an increase in the number of women taking Masters degrees in the last decade while the number of men has “flatlined”
Source Text: Landmark report on the last decade of UK postgraduate education provides an indication of what is to come after Covid-19 (HEPI, 14/05/2020)
Further Comment: Postgraduates: the understated powerhouse of UK higher education? (HEPI, 14/05/2020)

Postgraduate education rises 16% since the great recession (UB, 12/05/2020)

Universities in the Community

Beyond the Pandemic: the role of universities in shaping a better future (HEPI, 08/05/2020)
The coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly brought into sharp focus how important healthcare is to society.

We haven’t had enough of experts (WonkHE, 10/05/2020)
In her contribution to a series of essays on how to secure an inclusive and just recovery from Covid-19, Josie Cluer asks how we honour the contribution of science.

Pandemics are social phenomena, demanding breadth of expertise (WonkHE, 10/05/2020)
British Academy Fellow Melissa Leach sets out how social science and arts and humanities disciplines help to tackle Covid-19.

Science ‘risks coronavirus backlash’ as it is drawn into politics (THE, 14/05/2020)
Policy experts express fears that public and politicians will hold scientists responsible for the economic and social damage of lockdown

Universities need a new compact with society and these should be the priorities (THE, 09/05/2020)
With public trust in science and innovation renewed, now is the time for higher education to improve, argue Karan Khemka and Parag Khanna

IT in HE

From the battlefield to the boardroom, influence and teamwork are key to building information security  (JISC, 14/05/2020)
In the military, you need to have a keen awareness of threat and risk management. The pressure is on informed leaders to direct their teams to make great decisions as part of protocol.


Women’s research plummets during lockdown – but articles from men increase (Guardian, 12/05/2020)
Many female academics say juggling their career with coronavirus childcare is overwhelming

From AI to vaccines – how the cloud enables research (JISC, 14/05/2020)
As research focuses more and more on data analysis, how is the impact of cloud computing affecting the landscape?

Five things researchers need to know when working from home  (JISC, 13/05/2020)
Looking at the risks associated with working from home from a researcher’s point of view.

Communicating research during Covid-19 (WonkHE, 12/05/2020)
Paul Manners breaks down best practice in engaging the public with research during the pandemic.

Coronavirus speeds journals’ shift towards open access (THE, 13/05/2020)
Scientists fighting for more publicly available research say changes made during Covid-19 crisis have influenced their efforts

A more holistic approach to knowledge will help prevent future pandemics (THE, 12/05/2020)
Filling the gaps between disciplines and between science and technology could lead to greater progress than AI, says Jinghai Li

Covid crisis ‘could give economics chance to improve its reputation’ (THE, 12/05/2020)
Trade-offs involved in pandemic are ‘bread and butter’ for the discipline and it could be ‘drawn into the broad sciences’, experts suggest

Pandemic response needs ‘wisdom’ of social sciences, scholars say (THE, 12/05/2020)
Whether it’s to be ‘business as usual’ or not, social scientists have much to offer in discussion about how to move on after ravages of Covid-19

Equality and Diversity

From inertia to contagion towards immunity: keeping ‘race’ on the UK university agenda post-COVID-19 (Advance HE,
As Covid-19 continues to change the way we all work, Dave Thomas and Marcia Wilson explain why universities have to ensure Race Equality progress is not lost amid the furore once some form of normality returns

Universities must not forget about BAME students during this crisis (WonkHE, 14/05/2020)
As the higher education sector deals with the fallout from Covid-19, Karis Campion argues that equalities must not slip down the agenda.

Women in science are battling both Covid-19 and the patriarchy (THE, 15/05/2020)
The pandemic has worsened longstanding sexist and racist inequalities in science pushing many of us to say ‘I’m done’, write 35 female scientists

Administration and Governance

A new age of governance (UB, 13/05/2020)
Is your board diverse enough? Should it be paid? And how’s it getting along with the OfS? Universities’ governing bodies are under scrutiny like never before.

Does competition law prevent sector collaboration? (WonkHE, 12/05/2020)
As universities consider working together on solutions to the problems posed by the pandemic, Uddalak Datta considers the legal issues.

Valuing diversity starts with governing boards (WonkHE, 11/05/2020)
For Victoria Holbrook, governing boards embracing diversity could be the key that helps universities thrive in an uncertain future.

Estates and Infrastructure

University carbon emissions and energy usage falls (UB, 15/05/2020)
Carbon dioxide emissions fell from 1.7 million to 1.6 million tonnes between 2017/18 and 2018/19

Trends, Developments and Opinions

Does everyone need a chief scientist? (HEPI, 15/05/2020)
Should large public, private and voluntary organisations care more about science and evidence in their day-to-day and long-term decision making?

Physical activity matters more than ever in the Covid-19 fight back (WonkHE, 11/05/2020)
There are so many questions right now that surround student sport.

Will Covid-19 change universities forever? Don’t jump to conclusions (THE, 14/05/2020)
Tomorrow’s world often turns out to be less radically different than we might have first thought.