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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Just weeks away from results days, the demand for degree level learning is showing strong growth whilst the shifting qualifications landscape and changes to number controls mean subtle recruitment challenges lie in wait for universities.
As UCAS’ latest statistics show, there has been a 4% increase in demand for places so far this year, with an additional 17,000 UK students making applications by the end of June compared to 2013. Continue reading
As more people begin to suggest changes to England’s student loan system – as seen again this week with reports that government officials are considering a plan to let universities buy debt – Professor Sir Christopher Snowden outlines how the new Student Funding Panel would like to hear about more such ideas and from a range of people and organisations.
Professor Sir Christopher Snowden
Have the reforms to higher education in England improved the quality of the student experience? What impact will lifting the cap on student numbers have on the sustainability of the public finances? Does the reformed system encourage universities to widen access?
These are all questions on which the Student Funding Panel, launched by Universities UK in April this year, is considering and seeking views. Continue reading
The concept of a local economic plan is an interesting one: distilling the priorities, problems, hopes and future of an area into a hundred page document, and creating a vision of where you want to be in six years’ time (and, ideally, at each annual reporting deadline within that period). It is important, however, to frame these plans in the wider policy context. Continue reading