Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 25th September 2020

Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 25th September 2020

HE Policy

OfS announces next steps for the National Student Survey (OfS, 23/09/2020)

The Office for Students (OfS) has detailed arrangements for a review of the National Student Survey (NSS).

Further Comment: The National Student Survey’s radical roots and branches (WonkHE, 23/09/2020)

Keir Starmer has to abandon Corbyn’s promise on student fees (Guardian, 22/09/2020)

Sooner or later, the Labour leader will realise that spending at least £6bn a year on free tuition won’t break down inequality

For employers, the Social Sciences stand up to the STEM obsession (HEPI, 21/09/2020)

Against a rumbling background of commentary about ‘low quality’ or ‘low value’ courses, proposed changes to the regimes for funding and evaluating universities are awaited.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): initial teacher training (ITT) (DfE, 22/09/2020)

Information for providers about managing initial teacher training courses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Quietly, the RAB charge is reaching worrying levels (WonkHE, 25/09/2020)

There was a time when English higher education policy was focused entirely on loan repayment rates. As David Kernohan discovers, new data indicates that 53 per cent of money lent out will not be repaid.

New legislation will not eliminate student no-platforming (THE, 24/09/2020)

History reminds us that freedom of speech also implies the right to vocally object to and demonstrate against speakers, says Evan Smith

The New Term

Covid-hit university students: ‘Why have they sent us here?’ (BBC, 25/09/2020)

Students caught up in a spate of Covid outbreaks have questioned why university halls were allowed to open.

‘Don’t scapegoat students over Covid outbreaks’ (BBC, 25/09/2020)

Students should not be made “scapegoats” for a wave of Covid outbreaks, says a lecturers’ leader.

Students locked down after illegal parties at UK universities (Guardian, 21/09/2020)

St Andrews and Manchester Metropolitan among institutions dealing with Covid outbreaks

Hancock refuses to rule out Christmas student lockdown (BBC, 24/09/2020)

Matt Hancock has refused to rule out banning students from returning home at Christmas, to limit the spread of coronavirus outbreaks.

Further CommentStudents may be asked to stay on campus at Christmas, government says (Independent, 24/09/2020)

Students ‘should stay on campus over Christmas holidays’, SAGE scientists warn (Telegraph, 23/09/2020)

The silly story about Christmas just got serious (WonkHE, 24/09/2020)

English health minister won’t rule out Christmas student lockdown (THE, 24/09/2020)

UK universities ‘bullying’ junior staff into face-to-face teaching (Guardian, 25/09/2020)

Young academic tells of £82 a week for three seminars and no statutory sick pay if he gets Covid-19

Uni isolation: ‘PPE to pee’ and running out of food (BBC, 24/09/2020)

How students in Glasgow halls of residence are coping with self-isolation amid a coronavirus outbreak.

‘I had a little sob’: freshers face up to strict new Covid rules (Guardian, 25/09/2020)

UK students are feeling anxious following Scottish ban on parties, campus lockdowns and a warning against travelling home for Christmas

Universities prioritise safety amid union call for campus closures (UB, 23/09/2020)

Universities and sector bodies respond to the University and College Union’s call for a suspension to in-person teaching

Who are students going to live with next year? (WonkHE, 23/09/2020)

New Covid restrictions could prevent student mixing for most of the academic year. Jim Dickinson calls for coordinated action that addresses a growing belonging problem.

Student Numbers, Admissions, and UCAS

Why universities should recruit students on their character (WonkHE, 23/09/2020)

Tom Harrison and Joe McDowell argue for an alternative to relying on standardised testing to judge university admissions.

International Students, VISAs and UKVI

Students wrongly accused of cheating in visa test take fight to Downing Street (Guardian, 24/09/2020)

International students who lost right to live and study in UK fight to clear names

Further CommentTOEIC scandal students call for “transparent scheme” to clear names (PIE, 24/09/2020)

Record number of international undergrads accepted onto UK courses (PIE, 24/09/2020)

UCAS has revealed the number of students from outside the EU accepted onto undergraduate courses has risen by 9%, although application data does not necessarily translate into confirmed enrolment.

Further Comment: Covid-19 has not dampened the appeal of UK higher education (WonkHE, 24/09/2020)

Riding the waves of international student flow will not be easy (THE, 24/09/2200)

The UK, in particular, could find itself gasping for breath by 2024 if it does not take the currents into account, warns Louise Nicol

Overseas Activity and Internationalisation

Foreign firewalls present challenge to global online learning (THE, 25/09/2020)

Institutions and teachers find workarounds to reach students enrolled in Western courses, but domestic internet rules still constrain efforts

Widening Participation

Isolation Generation – looking ahead to the sector’s unique recruitment challenge. (HEPI, 23/09/2020)

The next cohort has just started in Year 13 / S6 and they are playing catch-up – both academically and in their research for university choices.

Higher education is transformative – it should be open to all (WonkHE, 23/09/2020)

Paul Ashwin argues that universities must be for more than the academic elite.

Small area participation data for England (WonkHE, 24/09/2020)

The Office for Students has given us the most detailed area-based look at English participation in higher education yet.

Student Experience and Standards

UK universities predict record student dropout rate (Guardian, 19/09/2020)

Fears that young people have ‘lost the discipline of learning’ add to students’ money worries as part-time jobs dry up

‘It doesn’t feel like a drama course at all’: diary of a virtual fresher (Guardian, 25/09/2020)

As UK university students begin learning and socialising remotely, one Bristol first-year describes how week one went

Participants provide their views on the impact of Covid-19 on campuses and in education (AdvanceHE, 25/09/2020)

Delegates at the THE Student Success Forum provide their views in a number of polls asking about campuses, and education and remote working in the time of COVID-19.

How to devise a successful peer tutoring scheme (WonkHE, 25/09/2020)

Sophia Birk argues that peer tutoring should be a vital component of higher education – particularly during a pandemic.

Learning and Teaching

Reimagining Service Learning in the Digital Age (Inside Higher Ed, 23/09/2020)

An ideal education in 2020 will give students the tools — both physical and digital — to work with their neighbors to improve the lived circumstances in their communities, writes Laken Brooks.

Syncing with Students: Valuable Qualities of Synchronous Online Teaching (Faculty Focus, 25/09/2020)

“One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever”

Don’t Turn into a Bot Online: Three Easy Strategies to Let Your Personality Shine in Your Online Course (Faculty Focus, 21/09/2020)

One of the perks of teaching online is that there are so many great tools that make facilitating an online course easier.

Pastoral Concerns

‘My ADHD will make uni restrictions extra hard’ (BBC, 22/09/2020)

Aberystwyth student Lacey Small writes about her worries for those at university with ADHD.

Economy and Skills

More is needed to help youth employment, says NCUB (NCUB, 24/09/2020)

Reversing the trend in youth unemployment is key to drive economic recovery.

Management academics should help executives solve their daily problems (THE, 22/09/2020)

Corporate leaders are uninterested in academic research but do respond when told there is a better way to conduct their business, says Oliver Sibony

IT in HE

Unis must do more to embed digital education (PIE, 22/09/2020)

A survey of more than 20,000 higher education students at UK universities has revealed that a quarter couldn’t give positive feedback on the quality of digital teaching they’ve received, and only half said they receive guidance on vital digital skills.

‘For young disabled learners like me, technology is the future’ (JISC, 21/09/2020)

Technological innovation has improved the quality of life for many people with disabilities, delivering more independence and greater equality of opportunity.

Bringing method to madness (JISC, 22/09/2020)

Data is everywhere – but where does it come from, where is it being stored, and is it worth keeping? It is crucial to take stock.

Back to campus essentials – don’t forget about the data (WonkHE, 24/09/2020)

How can a university keep students safe from Covid-19 and keep student data safe too?

Cutting corners on cybersecurity can leave costly holes (THE, 24/09/2020)

Ransomware victims must either line the pockets of criminals or face the financial penalties and PR disaster of a data breach, says Chris Cobb


Russell Group chair wants ‘sustainable, agile’ research funding (THE, 24/09/2020)

Nancy Rothwell tells THE its universities are ‘worried about building the research base’ amid ‘complete uncertainty’ on overseas recruitment during pandemic

Equality and Diversity

Equality implications for ‘re-opening’ HE campuses in the COVID era (Advance HE, 22/09/2020)

22 Sep 2020 | Advance HE Advance HE today publishes perspectives and discussion from our expert panel of academics and practitioners

Black graduates are less satisfied with their careers (WonkHE, 22/09/2020)

HESA generates new knowledge from old data – David Kernohan looks at why Black graduates don’t have satisfying careers.

Administration and Governance

Resilient organisations and higher education (AdvanceHE, 22/09/2020)

It’s all about purpose, context and value systems

Supporting university staff through the pandemic should be data-driven (THE, 25/09/2020)

A large ongoing survey at King’s College London is informing the institution’s approach to Covid-19, say Gabriella Bergin-Cartwright and Sharon Stevelink

Trends, Developments and Opinions

Through the COVID crisis, universities are rediscovering their relevance (JISC, 24/09/2020)

As students head back to campus, universities are working innovatively and tirelessly to deliver high-quality education safely around COVID-19 measures – but the sector’s challenges predate the pandemic.

Adam Smith Institute report on student unions ‘filled with outright lies’ – Kennedy (UB, 21/09/2020)

The think tank’s latest paper claimed that “student unions are perceived as ineffective by students, lack democratic legitimacy, and undermine freedom of association and expression”

If universities really want to promote impact, they must work together (THE, 24/09/2020)

The modern university should be an honest broker who sets self-interest aside and works for the common good across all areas of its activity, says Sally Kift

Students expect universities to do more on climate change (THE, 20/09/2020)

We must move away from small-scale mitigation efforts and think on a larger scale about how to radically revamp teaching and research, says Joy Carter