Why higher education wasn’t invited to the party (conferences)

As the political parties gathered for their last set of conferences before what is expected to be a tight election in 2015, higher education was largely absent in the major speeches taking place, but for rather separate reasons for each of the parties.

The Conservatives have been the dominant party of a government that has only recently overhauled the system of funding higher education. For them, the reforms fall into the category of ‘unpopular, but not so unpopular as to need to be addressed’. There are few votes to be won in reminding people of the new fee regime, but it hasn’t for them been a policy that has caused major political headaches. Continue reading

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The importance of international students

International students are not only of great importance to our higher education sector but also to our country more widely. Their presence internationalises the academic environment and life on campus and they also contribute a staggering £7 billion to the UK economy. A new report published today by Universities UK analyses recent trends in non-EU student recruitment within the growing and increasingly competitive international market. Continue reading

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Building higher level skills through university and employer collaboration

This week the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and Universities UK launch a joint report on how universities are working with employers to develop bespoke and innovative pathways to high level skills. The report demonstrates the strength and diversity of this collaboration. There are benefits to employers and universities, but most importantly, however, it shows how this is enhancing people’s lives and prospects by developing talented people, new career opportunities and creating new jobs. A new cooperative ‘norm’ is emerging. Continue reading

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Telling stories for fundraising success

Storytelling is not something academics are supposed to do. They pride themselves on objectivity, rationality and use of evidence. Yet storytelling is central to our mental processes for understanding, remembering, and communicating. Stories are an effective tool for conveying messages and there are some stories that just seem to stick, while others of equal value and importance struggle to gain traction. Continue reading

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Notes from the UUK Annual Conference

This time last year UUK’s President, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, addressed the Members’ Annual Conference as the new man in post. This year the newcomer is Greg Clark, new Minister of State for Universities and Science, and here in Leeds this evening Sir Christopher and UUK members welcomed him warmly to the conference.

The UUK Annual Conference is the largest annual gathering of university vice-chancellors, and the president took the opportunity to outline to them the pre-General Election priorities that UUK is promoting through its Back Universities campaign. Continue reading

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The public does not see international students as immigrants – our new report

Yesterday we launched a new report – with the think-tank British Future – looking at the voting public’s views towards international students and immigration more generally. It was picked up widely in the media, resulting in responses from a number of politicians and other high-profile figures. The report forms part of our wider General Election 2015 campaign (www.backuniversities.org.uk), which calls on an incoming government to work with universities to attract qualified international students and staff to the UK.

The report draws on a nationally representative poll by ICM of 2,111 people, together with evidence from six workshops held in York, Bristol and Nottingham. Continue reading

Posted in European and international, Students | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Clearing 2014: Daily visualisation overview

It’s that exciting and nerve-wracking time of year again. For most who have applied to UCAS to get a place at university, they will know today which institution they are going to attend. For tens of thousands however, the letter will bring less welcome news, but it is important to keep in mind the options and to keep calm and use clearing.

Looking at an overview of Clearing figures from 2013, this should give applicants some hope. Last year, those who did not apply to the main scheme, which closed on 30 June, but applied directly to Clearing, had an excellent chance of getting a place at university. Of 21,950 who applied to Clearing directly in 2013, 15,000 got a place. Overall, 57,000 students in 2013 got their place through Clearing, which was 12% of all acceptances. Continue reading

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Keep calm and use clearing

Think Clearing is a ‘second-best’ option? Think again, says The Student Room community editor Nik Taylor

Clearing comes with its own myth. Some see it as an academic failure; a route that would-be undergrads take if they’ve bombed their exams. That’s an untruth that is being eroded, but perhaps not quickly enough.

What is true is that a lot of students use Clearing: more than 57,000 students found their place at university this way in 2013. What’s also true is that almost all UK universities use it to offer places on at least some of their courses. Continue reading

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Trends in undergraduate recruitment

A new report published today by Universities UK looks at recent trends in the recruitment of undergraduates in England, focussing on students from the UK and EU. Drawing on analysis of publicly available data, combined with evidence gathered from interviews and surveys of Universities UK members, the report provides an assessment of trends covering a period of significant change for universities. Including ongoing transition to a new funding system, reductions in public funding, and the impact of the economic downturn. Continue reading

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Higher and Higher…

It’s an occupational hazard that I still get a little nervous as Higher results day approaches, even though it was many years ago since I was anxiously waiting on my own set of results to find out whether I had secured the place I wanted at university.

This year there is a lot to celebrate. As of midnight on Monday, 23,780 Scottish students got a place at Scotland’s 17 higher education institutions that are part of the UCAS admissions system. That is just over 1,000 more than last year; an increase of 4%. Continue reading

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