Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 24th April 2020

Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 24th April 2020

HE Policy

OfS subjective fines proposal could cause legal disputes for the sector (THE, 18/04/2020)

The approach to monetary penalties proposed by the UK’s Office for Students risks penalising well-run institutions

Student Numbers, Admissions, and UCAS

Further extension to moratorium on unconditional offer-making – Office for Students (OfS, 18/04/2020)

This letter sets out details of a second extension to the moratorium on unconditional offers.

Does the cap fit? and other existential questions (WonkHE, 22/04/2020)

How will undergraduate applicants to English HEIs behave during the 2020 cycle? Nobody knows, but David Kernohan has some scenarios and models to show you.

University Funding and University Status

Universities ‘may lose £98m’ due to pandemic (BBC, 23/04/2020)

The sector has already experienced significant losses due to the cancellation of conferences and events and lost income from student accommodation.

Further Comment: Coronavirus could see universities go bust without being handed help (Telegrapjh, 24/04/2020)

Universities face £2.5bn tuition fee loss next year (Guardian, 23/04/2020)

Response to the new report on Covid-19 and university finances by London Economics and UCU (HEPI, 23/04/2020)

Universities face £2.5bn funding ‘black hole’, warns new report (UB, 23/04/2020)

UK universities ‘face £2.6bn coronavirus hit with 30K jobs at risk’ (THE, 23/04/2020)

In detail: The recruitment economics of Covid-19 (WonkHE, 22/04/2020)

Labour calls on government to underwrite HE funding in coronavirus crisis (UB, 22/04/2020)

Shadow universities minister Emma Hardy has written to Michelle Donelan expressing a desire to “work together” to support universities and students

Further Comment: ‘No university should be allowed to go bust,’ says Labour shadow minister (THE, 23/04/2020)

The Guardian view on universities: a bailout is in all our interests (Guardian, 24/04/2020)

By helping to solve a short-term funding crisis, ministers could signal their plans for a national recovery

Further Comment: A £2bn bailout: is the ask reasonable? (NCUB, 23/04/2020)

Loss of international student fees could decimate UK research (Guardian, 24/04/2020)

Coronavirus will put almost every university in financial jeopardy unless the government steps in, vice-chancellors say

Ministers split over bailout package for universities (Guardian, 23/04/2020)

Education secretary arguing for cash to offset losses from international tuition fees

Further Comment: Don’t panic … yet. (HEPI, 23/04/2020)

Help students more to win £2 billion bailout, says ex-HE minister (THE, 24/04/2020)

Will doubling QR be enough? (WonkHE, 20/04/2020)

David Kernohan examines the scale of the financial risk to English HE providers and how the plans to double non-project research funding measure up.

Universities are expecting 230,000 fewer students – that’s serious financial pain (Guardian, 23/04/2020)

Without government support, universities will struggle to provide the education people will need to rebuild their lives after Covid-19

Tuition Fees and Student Finance

‘I can’t afford rent’: the students facing hardship during lockdown (Guardian, 24/04/2020)

University students worry how they will cope financially after losing work and parental support

MPs call for grants to help students in difficulty (Guardian, 23/04/2020)

Cross-party campaign says some students have lost jobs and can’t rely on parents to pay bills

‘We are risking our lives’: support grows to cancel student nurses’ debt (Guardian, 21/04/2020)

Trainees volunteering on Covid-19 wards first to be saddled with annual £9,250 fees

International Students, VISAs and UKVI

Work limits are off for health students in UK (PIE, 21/04/2020)

The UK has confirmed that international students who are employed by an NHS trust are not confined to usual working hours caps of 20 hours per week.

Self-assess for HE progression: T4 sponsor update (PIE, 20/04/2020)

The UK government has made Tier 4 visa rules far more flexible relating to new visa issuance, extensions and attendance reporting. Institutions will be able to “self-assess” for B1 level as long as they maintain records as to how they are doing so, part of temporary concessions.

India: 70% want to continue study abroad (PIE, 20/04/2020)

Around 70% of prospective students from India want to continue with their applications to study overseas, a survey by edtech startup Yocket has found.

Four in 10 students from India and Pakistan ‘not likely’ to change study plans in UK (UB, 24/04/2020)

A survey of students in India and Pakistan by the British Council offers more positive news for UK HE

Coronavirus: ex UK minister calls for four-year post-study work visa (THE, 23/04/2020)

Pandemic crisis is chance to consider longer post-study work visas and even route to citizenship for foreign students, Chris Skidmore tells THEevent

Overseas Activity and Internationalisation

Harness TNE to prepare for post-coronavirus landscape (PIE, 23/04/2020)

Higher education institutions have been impelled to hone their transnational education provision to mitigate the potential changes in a post-coronavirus educational landscape.

UK degrees in Malaysia meet both local employment needs and UK standards (QAA, 20/04/2020)

Malaysia is the second-largest host country for UK transnational education (TNE), and UK degree-awarding bodies are the main TNE providers in the country as a whole, with over 50% of all non-local programmes leading to a UK degree.

COVID-19 response: QAA publishes examples of international practice (QAA, 24/04/2020)

This information reflects the various types of practice and approaches that have been taken to learning and teaching, assessment and feedback, and student support in view of the pandemic.

Switch to online teaching can help UK unlock global markets (THE, 24/04/2020)

Jo Johnson tells Times Higher Education event that universities should ‘take advantage’ of crisis to build on experience of online teaching

Widening Participation

Navigating the aspiration trap (HEPI, 21/04/2020)

White working-class students and widening access to higher education

Student Experience and Standards

Students ‘should be able to retake the year’ (BBC, 22/04/2020)

UK students should be given the option to retake or be reimbursed for this academic year, says the National Union of Students.

Further Comment: Students ‘should get a year’s refund due to Covid-19 crisis’ (Guardian, 22/04/2020)

Only collectivism can solve the problem of fee refunds (WonkHE, 23/04/2020)

Trainee nurses put in virus ‘firing line’ (BBC, 23/04/2020)

Second year students who do not want to treat patients have to suspend their training, take authorised leave or switch courses.

Strong student support is crucial in online shift (PIE, 22/04/2020)

Experts from tech, testing and education spoke at The PIE Webinar about how to successfully pivot into online education delivery and admissions

Student feedback should change forever after Covid-19 (THE, 20/04/2020)

Switching towards peer-to-peer assessment makes sense for distance learning

Learning and Teaching

How Teaching Changed in the (Forced) Shift to Remote Learning (Inside Higher Ed, 22/04/2020)

New survey documents how professors view this spring’s mass move to virtual courses. Key findings: most used new teaching methods, half lowered their expectations for the volume of student work — and a third for its quality.

Can Remote Teaching Make Us More Human? (Inside Higher Ed, 22/04/2020)

Is online teaching a wasteland of impersonal interaction, dehumanizing rote learning and impoverished communication?

Tribal academia must give way to interdisciplinarity (Advance HE, 20/04/2020)

Tim Hinchcliffe (Senior Adviser Learning and Teaching at Advance HE) discusses the challenges that cross-disciplinary working in higher education can present.

Pastoral Concerns

Coronavirus briefing note: student accommodation – Office for Students (OfS, 22/04/2020)

This briefing note looks at the ways in which universities, colleges and others are supporting the accommodation needs of their students during the coronavirus outbreak, and signposts to sources of advice and information.

I told my university I was harassed online. They asked me what a hashtag was (Guardian, 20/04/2020)

Social media has existed for years, but universities are only just realising they must protect students from online abuse

Campus lockdown: how to cope alone in university halls Guardian, 18/04/2020)

Being isolated in student accommodation can be distressing, but these expert tips will help you get through this difficult period

Blue Monday: Charlie Waller Memorial Trust launches new student mental health guide (UB, 20/04/2020)

Charity launches new guide to help students who are struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression


New graduates likely to be hit hardest by recession brought on by lockdown, IFS warns (Independent, 18/04/2020)

Researchers say young people may suffer from lower wages or unemployment

Counter View: Bad time to graduate? Not necessarily, say university careers services (UB, 22/04/2020)

Economy and Skills

Funding boost for students to work with business and communities (OfS, 20/04/2020)

Twenty universities and colleges have been awarded funding for projects to boost students’ involvement in activities to share knowledge and skills beyond the academic community.

Further Comment: Universities explore impact of student involvement in knowledge exchange (NCUB, 22/04/2020)

The Knowledge Exchange Concordat: published but not yet activated (WonkHE, 23/04/2020)

Links between industry, community, and universities have supported responses to the Covid-19 crisis.

Further Comment: University impact has never been more important (THE, 23/04/2020)

Improving links between universities and businesses will further develop societal and economic impact (UUK, 24/04/2020)

Universities can build on their leading role in society and develop links between UK institutions, industry and local communities by committing to better exchange of information, knowledge and skills.

The long haul: driving recovery through collaboration (NCUB, 23/04/2020)

We are seeing the best of collaboration, but even once lockdown measures start to be lifted, there will still be a tremendously long way to go.

IT in HE

Sector leaders call on government to make education websites free for UK students (JISC, 24/04/2020)

Chief executives of leading education and technology bodies unite to request greater support for learners in need during the COVID-19 lockdown

Online university head fears students will ‘suffer’ from shift online (THE, 24/04/2020)

Entrepreneur behind University of the People says he hopes the online offerings of traditional universities will not ‘ruin’ virtual education for students


Conducting PhD vivas online is working fine: there will be no need to return to excessive flying habits (HEPI, 24/04/2020)

A  small change could have a big positive impact

The purpose of publications in a pandemic and beyond (HEPI, 22/04/2020)

For Elizabeth Gadd, the Covid-19 pandemic makes it clear that long standing issues with academic publications need to be addressed quickly and definitively.

THE Impact Summit: embrace of SDGs ‘will not hit basic research’ (THE, 22/04/2020)

Neglect of fundamental research is not inevitable when universities focus on sustainability challenges, UN advisor tells Innovation and Impact Summit

Why should universities pay attention to the SDGs? (THE, 22/04/2020)

The United Nations’ goals provide a useful framework for institutions to demonstrate their impact and work in partnership – activities that are increasingly important in the age of Covid-19

Health-focused universities ‘catapulted into the limelight’ (THE, 23/03/2020)

Institutional leaders say role of universities has ‘never been more important’ as THE Impact Rankings reveal those that are leading the way on health and well-being

Let’s rethink how we look at impact and research (THE, 19/04/2020)

Impact and engagement should be built into the design of academic work, says Matthew Davies

Equality and Diversity

No Room of One’s Own (Inside Higher Ed, 21/04/2020)

Early journal submission data suggest COVID-19 is tanking women’s research productivity.

Administration and Governance

The four questions facing university leaders during the Covid-19 crisis (THE, 24/04/2020)

With campuses closed and finances weakening, these are the broad strategic points university leaders are considering right now, according to Alan Ruby

Covid-19: universities treating staff in ‘vastly different ways’ (THE, 20/04/2020)

Some institutions have made serious efforts to protect staff welfare during the Covid-19 crisis, while others have implemented – or said they plan to implement – job and pay cuts

Universities must learn from banks to survive after Covid-19 shutdown (THE, 22/04/2020)

The transformation of high street branches offers lessons on how universities may need to adapt

Trends, Developments and Opinions

COVID-19: What next for higher education? (QAA, 24/04/2020)

“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.”

Universities are showing great leadership on Covid-19. They should now seize opportunities to tackle climate change and other sustainable development goals. (HEPI, 22/04/2020)

Develop meaningful travel policies for academics before lifting any currently imposed restrictions on international travel (HEPI, 22/04/2020)

Jisc: how universities should plan for the end of lockdown (UB, 23/04/2020)

Chris Thomson, a specialist in digital practice at Jisc, considers how universities can plan for the exit from lockdown

If there’s no going back, how do we get forward to a new normal? (WonkHE, 23/04/2020)

If we think there are problems in universities now, just wait for what needs to be solved in September.

What could we lose in the transition to a “new normal”? (WonkHE, 23/04/2020)

It would be a fool’s errand to even begin to predict what might change in UK universities as a result of the global pandemic.

Imagining a higher education system beyond Covid-19 (WonkHE, 19/04/2020)

Andy Westwood sets out the not-insignificant challenges that the government now faces in deciding what it wants from universities after the pandemic.