Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 5th June 2020

Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 5th June 2020

HE Policy

Row over cap on English students at Scottish universities (BBC, 02/06/2020)

The UK government is to impose “student number controls” to prevent “over-recruitment” by some institutions.

University cap ‘won’t see English student raid’ (BBC, 02/06/2020)

English universities will not be able to “raid” Welsh institutions for students under UK government plans to cap enrolments, a university boss said.

Plan to cap numbers at UK universities to go ahead (Guardian, 01/06/2020)

DfE in England rejects opposition from devolved administrations

Details of English student number controls unveiled (THE, 02/06/2020)

Universities who meet certain criteria can bid for extra students, while devolved nations express anger

Why can’t Million Plus have any additional student numbers? (WonkHE, 03/06/2020)

Do the criteria for non-health care additional student numbers offer a preview of government policy focused on elite providers? For David Kernohan, that would be indefensible.

Student number controls are back – with deadly penalties for over-recruitment (WonkHE, 01/06/2020)

Controls on student numbers are returning for what is billed as a one year, one-off reappearance. David Kernohan finds the devils in the detail.

Government must recognise the human cost to the crisis facing universities (WonkHE, 01/06/2020)

As universities begin to take action to manage the financial impact of Covid-19, Jo Grady calls on government to stand behind the higher education sector.

A beginner’s guide to… devolution in higher education (WonkHE, 01/06/2020)

David Kernohan presents a guide for all those who may be confused by the notion of devolved systems of higher education.

Concerns over ‘deeply subjective’ criteria for extra English places (THE, 04/06/2020)

Commentators accuse government of using the crisis to implement Tory manifesto pledges on ‘low-quality courses’

Office for Students publishes annual report and accounts for 2019-20 (OfS, 05/06/2020)

The Office for Students (OfS) has published its 2019-20 annual report and accounts.

I would seek alternative funding model for HE, says shadow universities minister (UB, 03/06/2020)

Emma Hardy MP called for the student grants debate to be reopened and said university “should be part of people’s entire lives”

Funding: ITT coronavirus (COVID-19) course extensions 2019 to 2020 (DfE, 05/06/2020)

Guidance about funding extensions to initial teacher training (ITT) courses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Next Term

We can’t separate the issues of race and reopening in universities (WonkHE, 03/06/2020)

Tahmina Choudhery reflects on social media conversations about race and racism across higher education following the murder of George Floyd.

Coronavirus: Students might have to stay in ‘protective bubble’ (BBC, 03/06/2020)

University leaders suggested students would live and study with the same group to minimise mixing.

Further CommentUniversity students will be grouped into ‘bubbles’ to live and study together, vice-Chancellors reveal (Telegraph, 03/06/2020)

UK universities plan to create ‘social bubbles’ when campuses reopen (Guardian, 03/06/2020)

UK universities outline plans to emerge from lockdown (PIE, 03/06/2020)

Source TextUniversities UK publishes principles for ‘emerging from lockdown’ (THE, 03/06/2020)

Principles for emerging from lockdown (UUK, 03/06/2020)

Packed lecture halls won’t return soon, but students can still go to university (Guardian, 03/06/2020)

Universities are starting to unveil their plans for September – including protective bubbles, virtual events and digital tools

71% of prospective students support a delay to the start of term, says UCU (UB, 03/06/2020)

A new UCU poll examines student anxiety over the effect of the pandemic on universities’ futures

Further Comment: Students ‘support delaying start of UK academic year’, survey finds (THE, 03/06/2020)

Induction – Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education Project (Advance HE, 01/06/2020)

When we examine the constituent parts of the student experience, there’s a significant element that has not yet made its way to the forefront of discussions:

In September provision needs to be different but good – not different but bad (WonkHE, 01/06/2020)

As students and applicants worry about their experience in September, Jim Dickinson weighs up whether we should offer reassurance rather than honesty.

Student Numbers, Admissions, and UCAS

Top universities prepare to lower offers to fill places as they prepare for a wave of deferrals (Telegraph, 04/06/2020)

Russell Group institutions are hoping to plug the gaps left by international and European students by dropping their entry requirements

Universities braced for wave of deferrals this September because of coronavirus (Telegraph, 04/06/2020)

Vice-Chancellors fear financial hit if new students balk at virtual freshers’ weeks and online lectures and defer entry until 2021

University Status and University Funding

Lessons from business: three things universities can learn about mergers from the private sector (HEPI, 05/06/2020)

From a business perspective, mergers in higher education make little sense.

The shape of the financial crisis to come? (WonkHE, 01/06/2020)

The outlook for higher education, and for those who have dedicated their lives to it, is as bleak as it has been in a generation. David Kernohan sets out what to expect.

The search for savings in university budgets (WonkHE, 01/06/2020)

Other than costs related to salaries, what do universities spend money on? And where else could funds be raised? David Kernohan takes an in-depth look.

Tuition Fees and Student Finance

Students shouldn’t pay tuition fees next year – the government should (Guardian, 03/06/2020)

No matter what universities say, students won’t get an equivalent experience in September

“The government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by Covid-19” (WonkHE, 04/06/2020)

Jim Dickinson goes looking for the financial help on offer from Government for students. Clue – there isn’t much.

Sticking plasters for the hardest hit will be in short supply in a pandemic (WonkHE, 03/06/2020)

Eluned Parrott argues that care-experienced and estranged students are hit hard by the pandemic – a problem that needs Government intervention

Disabled Students’ Allowance during a pandemic (WonkHE, 02/06/2020)

A survey conducted by the Association of Non-Medical Help Providers explores the Covid-19 experiences of students in receipt of Disabled Student Allowance. Graham Coiley takes us through it.

International Students, VISAs and UKVI

Universities Minister sets out support for international students (DfE, 05/06/2020)

International Education Champion appointed to support international students and the higher education sector during Covid-19

Further CommentDestination UK: Supporting international learners through coronavirus (DfE, 05/06/2020)

Sir Steve Smith appointed UK’s ‘international education champion’ (THE, 05/06/2020)

Clock is ticking for UK to make clear that visa system changes will support international students (UUK, 05/06/2020)

The UK government must make clear to international students in the next few weeks that they can still have confidence in studying at UK universities, otherwise the UK risks losing them to overseas competitors.

UK and Australia suggest clarity is coming on PSW rules (PIE, 03/06/2020)

Senior stakeholders in both the UK and Australia have used public webinar platforms to affirm that commitments to student visa policy regarding post-study work will be further clarified in the coming weeks.

Watch those summer courses closely… (HEPI, 04/06/2020)

What happens on these summer Pre-sessionals in 2020 will be the first real concrete data in what is likely to happen in the UK’s dominant overseas market vis-à-vis 2020/21 recruitment.

We saw the crash coming – so why didn’t we prepare? (WonkHE, 31/05/2020)

Bob O’Keefe reflects on university business schools’ reliance on Chinese students, and the sector’s wider reliance on the income they have provided.

Overseas Activity and Internationalisation

The rise of the international branch campus (UB, 05/06/2020)

What is the future of international higher education after the pandemic?

Widening Participation

Widening participation: advocacy is as great a challenge as delivery (HEPI, 02/06/2020)

With the exception of those working on international student recruitment, no professional community in higher education was left scratching their head by the challenges of Covid-19 more than those in widening access and outreach.

Student outcomes: latest OfS release shows inequalities present and growing (UB, 04/06/2020)

The latest release comes with a caveat from the regulator about supporting students after the pandemic

Student Experience and Standards

Preserving Quality and Standards Through a Time of Rapid Change: UK Higher Education in 2020-21 (QAA, 02/06/2020)

This QAA report recommends guiding principles for higher education providers in planning teaching and assessment for next year.

How can we assure quality in online higher education? (HEPI, 03/06/2020)

Last month a subtle warning shot was shot across the bows of universities still struggling to manage the disruption caused by Covid-19.

Space and Place – Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education Project (Advance HE, 05/06/2020)

Doug Parkin introduces the second of six Leadership Intelligence Reports from our Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education Project.

Eventually, it ceases to be the same course (WonkHE, 04/06/2020)

Students who have already undertaken one or two years of their programme may find that it looks very different come September.

Of knights and knaves – can universities be trusted to navigate through Covid-19? (WonkHE, 02/06/2020)

The UK HE sector has plenty of principles for managing quality during Covid-19, but there’s not much concrete assurance on offer. Debbie McVitty wonders how much that matters.

Teaching and Learning

Embracing the future of learning and teaching (UUK, 05/06/2020)

The university sector’s response to COVID-19 has brought about an unprecedented opportunity to reshape the higher education experience for staff and students, says Jisc Chief Executive Paul Feldman.

Stripping the layers of the onion in learning and teaching in HE (Advance HE, 03/06/2020)

Dr Gerasimos Chatzidamianos and Dr Chrissi Nerantzi reflect on positive lessons learned from working during a pandemic

What Homeschooling During COVID-19 Taught Me About My College Teaching (Teaching in Higher Ed, 01/06/2020)

The best thing about the experience for us has been getting to overhear their teachers referring to our kids by name and addressing their unique challenges and passions.

Performance-Based Learning: How it Works (Faculty Focus, 05/06/2020)

Performance-based learning and performance-based assessment is a system of learning and assessment that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a learning environment that embraces their higher-order thinking skills, as well as relating it to real-world situations

How Students Re-Imagined the Teach-Learning Environment and Visualized a Virtual Event (Faculty Focus, 03/06/2020)

For the past three years, I have taught a social entrepreneurship course with a semester-long project called Climb Above Addiction. During COVID-19, my students were willing to accept the steep challenge of re-imagining a live fundraiser as a virtual event in just five weeks.

Using Announcements to Give Narrative Shape to your Online Course (Faculty Focus, 01/06/2020)

In order to ensure that students know where to center their attention when they “click” into the classroom, we need to tell them.

Let’s lose the deficit language about online education (WonkHE, 02/06/2020)

Universities didn’t choose to pivot to online, but now they have, it’s opening up fresh conversations about effective pedagogies, says University of Bristol PVC Tansy Jessop.

If we can’t all be the OU by September, what can we become? (WonkHE, 01/06/2020)

Simon Kear on the possibilities of technology enhanced learning and the journey one provider has been on since Covid-19 hit.

Pastoral Concerns

Lockdown: Researchers investigate mental health impact on academics (UB, 04/06/2020)

A team from the University of Northampton wants academics to discuss how the lockdown has affected their work and mental health


Job-hunting advice for graduates, from the Class of 2008 (BBC, 05/06/2020)

Graduates face even tougher competition for jobs this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

‘I’m worried I’m not going to get a job’: meet the corona class of 2020 (Guardian, 01/06/2020)

Universities are working hard to support their graduates into a difficult labour market – but students’ anxieties remain

Higher Education in the era of artificial intelligence (Advance HE, 05/06/2020)

Dramatic changes in industries and patterns of employment were predicted with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). These changes have been accelerated by the global pandemic, forcing a rapid introduction to new ways of interacting within the world of work.

IT in HE

Cloud thinking (JISC, 05/06/2020)

With learning and collaborating at a distance on everyone’s agenda, a new Institutes of Technology project is using cloud solutions to keep learners collaborating, wherever they are.

Facilitating leadership development online (Advance HE, 02/06/2020)

As higher education adapts to life on-line, Alastair Work, Senior Associate at Advance HE, reflects on the experience of learning to facilitate leadership programmes at a distance.

How can we save the Mooc? (THE, 04/06/2020)

As most universities digitise all their teaching, they are finding it very difficult to deliver education online. Gorgi Krlev offers three challenges to conventional wisdom


Why price transparency is important when buying academic journal access (JISC, 01/06/2020)

It’s often not clear how much a university needs to pay to access scholarly articles. For Anna Vernon, the move away from paywall publishing offers the opportunity to reexamine these costs.

QAA publishes new paper on research degrees during COVID-19 (QAA, 05/06/2020)

How are institutions continuing to support research degree students and assure quality and standards of research degrees amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?

Public trust in scientists ‘will decline in wake of Covid-19’ (THE, 02/06/2020)

Study analysing impact of previous epidemics suggests that confidence in science will be maintained but coronavirus will damage perception of scientists

The coronavirus can improve societal understanding of universities’ role (THE, 01/06/2020)

Policymakers, civil society and industry can all benefit from more open science, say Åse Gornitzka and Svein Stølen

Equality and Diversity

Oxford students to get anti-bias training after George Floyd ‘joke’ at hustings (Guardian, 05/06/2020)

Candidate for ‘cake rep’ sparks anger after comparing killing of black man to flour shortages

For disabled students, quality education during COVID-19 is about basic access (QAA, 04/06/2020)

The capacity universities have demonstrated to make huge, structural transitions to off-campus provision will most likely come as a surprise to many disabled students.

Science curricula must be decolonised too (THE, 05/06/2020)

Exploring the often unsavoury history behind many significant advances can be enlightening and empowering for students, argues Daniel Akinbosede

Administration and Governance

From culture shock to culture shift – changing working practice in HE (WonkHE, 01/06/2020)

Covid-19 brought a largely unwelcome shift to university staff’s working practice – but might there be long term positive impacts? Joel Arber wonders whether the pandemic could bring an end to the “tyranny of the clock”.

Students’ union troubles highlight HE furlough scheme problems (THE, 01/06/2020)

Many universities are taking advantage of the government programme to support employees, but others are in disagreement with staff about how to use it

Trends, Developments and Opinions

100,000 may have remained in student accommodation during lockdown, says CUBO survey (UB, 05/06/2020)

Roughly half of students remaining in their term-time university accommodation are international

Pandemic a ‘major opportunity’ to test ingrained HE theories (THE, 02/06/2020)

Higher education, like many fields in the social sciences, will end up with a wealth of comparative data