Higher education policy

‘Symbolically posh’ Bristol University expanding to wrong side of tracks | Education

In the well-heeled district of Clifton in Bristol, with its Georgian crescents and French brasseries, 100% of school leavers go to university. Yet in the southern suburb of Hartcliffe, the figures are the lowest in the country: only 8.6% make it there. This is the divided face of Brexit Britain. Bristol University, part of the Russell Group and a favourite among private school students, has long been at the privileged heart of Clifton. But it has radical plans to pull…

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Education secretary backs review of university admissions | Education

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has backed a review into university admissions, including a fresh look at whether school leavers should only apply for places after receiving their A-level results. Williamson said recent developments, such as the steep rise in unconditional offers to sixth-formers, reopened questions over the admissions system and its calendar, as part of a review being carried out by the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator for England. “I recognise that we need to review…

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Universities hit back after report proposing funding cuts | Education

University leaders said their sector could be pushed into “survival mode” if the funding cuts proposed by a new report into student financing become government policy. The Augar report on post-18 education in England, commissioned by Theresa May, recommended a shift in funding away from universities towards further education (FE) and vocational training, with the report sharply criticising universities for offering too many “low value” courses. The report seeks to make degrees less attractive by increasing student loan repayments by…

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May urges Tories to cut tuition fees and revive student grants | Education

Theresa May has thrown down the gauntlet to the Tory leadership candidates to slash tuition fees and reinstate maintenance grants for the poorest students. In a speech in London, the prime minister acknowledged she no longer had power to implement the policy as she was leaving office. However, she put pressure on her successor to reduce the burden of debt on young people, as she believed the system was not working for many students and their families. “I’ve spoken to…

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Give worse-off students £3,000 to stay in education, says report | Education

Disadvantaged students in England could receive grants worth £3,000 a year to encourage them to remain in education after leaving school, according to proposals from a government-commissioned report backed by Theresa May. The report into post-age 16 education and funding would, if accepted by a future government, see a shift in funding from universities to further education (FE) and vocational training. Universities would lose income for “low value” courses while their graduates would be making higher student loan repayments until…

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EU students will not face Brexit penalty next year | Education

EU students going to English universities next year will be eligible for domestic tuition fees and student loans for the duration of their course regardless of Brexit, the Department for Education (DfE) has announced. Chris Skidmore, the universities minister, told a meeting of ministers in Brussels that EU students would continue to be funded on the same basis as students in England for undergraduate and postgraduate courses starting in the 2020-21 academic year. “We know that students will be considering…

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‘It’s cut-throat’: half of UK academics stressed and 40% thinking of leaving | Education

When Ed Harris, a management lecturer at a modern university, stopped sleeping and began having marriage problems, he realised he was no longer coping with the pressures of his job. “Most of the time you handle it, but the anger and unhappiness build up,” says Harris (not his real name). “I was constantly stressed. There was a lot of micromanagement and setting of deadlines and I was always working late and checking emails at all hours.” Harris says he went…

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