Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 7th August 2020

Business Intelligence: A round-up of the week in HE: 7th August 2020

HE Policy

30 things we learned from the OfS board papers for July 2020 (WonkHE, 06/08/2020)

The Office for Students has published board papers for July 2020, and David Kernohan and Jim Dickinson have had a read so you don’t have to.

Greening: English policy agenda will ‘level down’ opportunity (THE, 06/08/2020)

Former education secretary attacks ‘short-term, myopic and dysfunctional’ thinking in THE article

Next Term

University life may ‘pose further risk’ to young shielders (BBC, 06/08/2020)

A lack of clarity from universities about how they will protect students who had to shield during lockdown “will pose further risk” to lives, the National Union of Students has warned.

UK universities putting finances above student safety, expert warns (Guardian, 01/08/2020)

Oxford professor says institutions are being forced to reopen but fears student arrivals on campus will trigger Covid-19 outbreaks

Student Numbers, Admissions, and UCAS

Universities UK launches campaign to boost confidence among university students (UUK, 07/08/2020)

Students awaiting their exam results this August are being urged not to let the coronavirus pandemic stop them from pushing forward with their lives, in a new campaign, #2020MADEUS, launched today by UUK.

Will ‘clearing plus’ really make it easier to apply to university? (Guardian, 04/08/2020)

Ucas hopes its new scheme will save time and help socially disadvantaged students, but there have been criticisms too

A word from UCAS: Five things on the minds of universities as we approach Confirmation and Clearing 2020 (HEPI, 07/08/2020)

In many ways, the 2020 entry cycle feels a lot like 2012 – every day there is a ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ story in the press regarding student progression.

Where do your students come from in the UK? And why would you want to know? (WonkHE, 06/08/2020)

So you might be thinking, “this is just an easier way to look at where students move from and to each year”. And you’d be right. But I’ve added some Covid data…

Nervousness over A-level results after Scottish Highers row (THE, 07/08/2020)

Students who miss their grades may also be locked out if highly subscribed institutions fear breaching number controls and coronavirus regulations

University Status and University Funding

Universities’ ‘perfect storm’ threatens future (BBC, 07/08/2020)

Universities are facing a “perfect storm” which could lead to “real problems”, a former university vice-chancellor and higher education consultant has said.

Tuition Fees and Student Finance

SLC urges students entering Clearing to apply for finance right away (SLC, 05/08/2020)

Students applying through the Clearing system still have time to get their finances sorted for the 20/21 academic year.

Students are hitting hard times – will they get the facts they need? (WonkHE, 07/08/2020)

Student experience expert Michelle Morgan details the findings of a new report on student financial concerns, working intentions and Covid-19.

International Students, VISAs and UKVI

Chinese students consider UK study over US (PIE, 07/08/2020)

A white paper from New Oriental has suggested that more Chinese students are interested in studying in the UK than the US.

Social media is a powerful tool for changing attitudes towards study in the UK (PIE, 04/08/2020)

People are spending longer on social media platforms than they were pre-Covid-19. Now is the time to share your message

Overseas Activity and Internationalisation

UK HE must widen access to int’l experiences (PIE, 05/08/2020)

Barriers to international opportunities for UK students must be overcome to ensure more benefit from “enriching” experiences, the former Universities minister told The PIE.

Student Experience and Standards

Developing learner-focused feedback practices (Advance HE, 04/08/2020)

David Carless offers some thoughts on how shared responsibilities between educators and students might offer prospects for positive feedback impacts

Now is a good time to strengthen collaboration over teaching (WonkHE, 04/08/2020)

Keith Hennigan explores the vital role that teaching partnerships play in bringing different providers together to create something new.

Learning and Teaching

Making Remote Learning Relevant (Inside Higher Ed, 05/08/2020)

What if colleges viewed this fall not only as a campus emergency of epic proportions, Cathy N. Davidson and Dianne Harris ask, but also as an astonishing educational opportunity?

Faulty Assumptions About Lab Teaching During COVID (Inside Higher Ed, 05/08/2020)

Given the success of her online class this summer, Mounika Vutukuru disagrees with the notion that lab courses can’t be taught remotely.

The Lasting Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic: Conversations with Sector Leaders (QAA, 05/08/2020)

Teaching postgraduate students during the COVID-19 pandemic: The experience of a Global Health department in a UK university (Advance HE, 07/08/2020)

Anne Gatuguta and Sarah Marshall reflect on their experience, incorporating insights gained from feedback provided by their students. They share 10 elements that ‘worked for them’ and hope others find these useful.

Turning Hardships into Strengths: Advancing Learning During COVID-19 (Faculty Focus, 03/08/2020)

While we hope that our students and instructors may never have to experience another COVID-19 outbreak, we can be certain that other emergencies will occur in the future.

A Four-Step Plan: The First Day of Class on Zoom (Faculty Focus, 05/08/2020)

While there’s no one right way to start the first day of class on Zoom, as this depends on the course level, size, and discipline, I believe the overall purpose of the first day is to establish a positive connection.

Pastoral Concerns

Impact of coronavirus on projects supporting student mental health: sharing of emerging practice (OfS, 05/08/2020)

An independent report has been published today which explores the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the delivery of ten mental health projects, funded through the Office for Students’ (OfS’s) Challenge Competition.

Coronavirus risk assessments need to cover mental as well as physical health (WonkHE, 05/08/2020)

As newspaper stories lament the loss of “sex and wild parties” from the student experience, Jim Dickinson considers components we might regard as essential.

Universities in the Community

How to sustain authentic learning in challenging times (WonkHE, 05/08/2020)

Delivering traditional teaching online is one thing – but what about real-world learning with business and community partners? Ed Stevens and David Owen have solutions.

The community sector is being excluded from UK HE’s post-Covid recovery (THE, 02/08/2020)

Now is the time to build a research infrastructure that harnesses and nurtures the energy, creativity and enterprise of the third sector, says letter


How can I boost my CV if I can’t get work experience? (Guardian, 06/08/2020)

It’s a tough time to start a career, but rising to the challenge could make a good story to tell employers

We’ll be judged by the careers we create (WonkHE, 06/08/2020)

Tanita Casci and Miles Padgett hope that Covid-19 will provide the impetus that universities need to focus on developing their workforce.

Economy and Skills

Coronavirus and the entrepreneurial university (Advance HE, 05/08/2020)

Professor David A Kirby examines how universities could become more entrepreneurial as a result of the pandemic.


Sharing and reusing data makes for excellent research (WonkHE, 07/08/2020)

As it adds UCAS records to the data it makes available to researchers, ONS’ Peter Stokes discusses how reusing data and making it available can boost its benefit to society.

To be an effective policy guide, science must be transparent (THE, 04/08/2020)

The halting of trials for a coronavirus treatment following the publication of dubious data highlights the perils of opacity, says Ron Iphofen

Seven principles to change the UK’s research culture (THE, 06/08/2020)

Bullying and harassment is still widespread in our institutions, and this must change, say science leaders

Equality and Diversity

#MeToo is failing at university (THE, 02/08/2020)

Sexual violence at the student level is being addressed, but what about when the perpetrator is a member of staff, asks Heather Savigny

Administration and Governance

UK lecturers ‘strongly support colleagues’ academic freedom’ (Guardian, 03/08/2020)

Policy Exchange thinktank urges government to impose free speech regulator

Proposals on academic freedom would achieve anything but (WonkHE, 03/08/2020)

Policy Exchange has a new 50,000 word report on academic freedom. Jim Dickinson reserves the right to be critical.

Research student allocation must be fair and transparent (WonkHE, 07/08/2020)

Managers must acknowledge that supervising some types of doctoral candidates is more labour-intensive, say Roger Watson and David Thompson

Trends, Developments and Opinions

‘Warn students that degree certificate selfies could lead to increase in fraud’ (JISC, 04/08/2020)

As graduation officers prepare to send out certificates, Prospects (now part of Jisc) is urging higher education providers to advise graduates against showing their degrees online.

Call for a new approach on the affordability, regulation and cost of student accommodation (HEPI, 06/08/2020)

A new report on the burgeoning student accommodation sector.

Further Comment: Make student accommodation more affordable, says Hepi (UB, 06/08/2020)

We need a plan for student housing for the next decade (WonkHE, 06/08/2020)