BLOG INDEX


Academic Freedom

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Casual Staff

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CDBU Updates

CDBU launches infographic on student fees

As noted in an earlier blogpost, CDBU has a strong interest in student fees. We are concerned that Fees in England are nearly four times higher than in Ireland and seven times higher than the next most expensive country in the EU, the Netherlands. English students now...

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Abolishing fees for STEM subjects? Part II

In the second of our two short videos responding to UKIP's and Plaid Cymru's STEM policy, Howard Hotson notes how abolishing fees for STEM subjects is logically problematic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLVmvMW1jLM

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Events

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Free Speech

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Government

Universities ‘R’ Us

Guest blog by G. R. Evans If you are a higher education provider, HEFCE’s Blog brings you ‘three ways to reach out with good advice’ on offer from the Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON).  The four providers in the Network have designed ‘Quick Guides’ to make the...

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Lobbying on behalf of alternative providers: what is going on?

Guest blogpost by G. R. Evans     Who ‘represents’ providers of UK higher education? Alex Proudfoot, the CEO of an organization called Independent Higher Education, was invited as a witness to the Committee evaluating the Higher Education and Research Bill. His views...

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Grade Inflation

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Higher Education And Research Act

House of Lords debate on the Higher Education and Research Bill

Rapid reaction to the First Amendment by G.R.Evans It’s certainly a story when the House of Lords is packed, as it was on 9 January to discuss the first of well over 500 amendments to a Bill.  Several speakers noted that they were adding themselves to the long list...

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Universities ‘R’ Us

Guest blog by G. R. Evans If you are a higher education provider, HEFCE’s Blog brings you ‘three ways to reach out with good advice’ on offer from the Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON).  The four providers in the Network have designed ‘Quick Guides’ to make the...

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An integrated tertiary education system?

No. 7 in a series of guest posts by G. R. Evans ‘The world of education is not just boxed up into different sections; it is linear’, protested Neil Carmichael in the Second Reading debate. Several speakers drew attention to the move of the ‘teaching’ role of higher...

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Humanities

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Marketisation

Uses and Abuses of Economics in the Debate on Universities

Report on CDBU Annual Lecture 2017 by Dorothy Bishop Last night, Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, delivered a splendid lecture with the title “Uses and Abuses of Economics in the Debate on Universities”. It is not possible to do this...

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Lobbying on behalf of alternative providers: what is going on?

Guest blogpost by G. R. Evans     Who ‘represents’ providers of UK higher education? Alex Proudfoot, the CEO of an organization called Independent Higher Education, was invited as a witness to the Committee evaluating the Higher Education and Research Bill. His views...

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Reclaiming the University of Aberdeen

Guest Post by Professor Timothy Ingold, University of Aberdeen We, staff and students of the University of Aberdeen, are angry. We are angry about the way our academic community and our commitment to education and scholarship have been eaten away by a corrosive regime...

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News Round-Up


Office-For-Students

Who shall regulate the regulators?

The appointment process for the new Office for Students has been heavily criticised in a new report, writes Professor David Midgley – and it hasn’t even launched yet When the membership of the Board of the Office for Students (Ofs) was announced on 1 January 2018, a...

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Opinion

Jo Johnson: an end of term report

Professor DVM Bishop bids a not-so-fond farewell to universities minister Jo Johnson. So Jo Johnson is gone, brought down by poor judgement demonstrated by, first, the appointment of Toby Young to the Board of the Office for Students, and...

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Part-Time Students

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Pensions

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Publications

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REF

University teachers: an endangered species?

Opinion Piece by Marina Warner Current policies are imposing business practices on education, and the consequences are blighting the profession, and will continue to inflict ever deeper blight on the people engaged in it – at all levels. The relinquishing of financial...

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A whole lotta cheatin’ going on? REF stats revisited

Opinion Piece by Derek Sayer* Editorial Note: In our previous blogpost, we noted that while there was agreement that REF2014 was problematic, there was less agreement about alternatives. To make progress, we need more debate. We hope that this piece by Derek Sayer...

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Scotland

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TEF

TEF and the reputation of UK Higher Education

Opinion piece by Dorothy Bishop The publication of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) results this week was greeted with predictable glee by sections of the media. The Times was delighted to report that "The LSE, Southampton and Liverpool, all members of the...

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Government’s letter to the Lords re TEF: A reply

Opinion piece by Dorothy Bishop The Higher Education and Research Bill (HERB) has had a rocky passage through parliament. As explained here, a Bill goes through several stages before it becomes law, with debate in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as...

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Why the NSS is garbage

A note by Lord Lipsey     The National Students Survey results matter. First, they are used by students to evaluate institutions by comparison with rival institutions. Secondly, they are one of the metrics to be used in the TEF, in awarding gold, silver or bronze...

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Tuition fees

When is a loan not a loan? When it’s a student loan…

The use of terms like ‘loan’ and ‘debt’ to describe student finance are completely misleading, argues Professor Dorothy Bishop In February 2018, the House of Commons Treasury Committee published a remarkable report entitled ‘Student Loans’. A response by government,...

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Yes, tuition fees in England are among the highest in the world

It turns out the CDBU were right about tuition fees Prime minister Theresa May has admitted that tuition fees in England are among the highest in the world. It’s good to see an acknowledgement from government of something that we first drew attention to three years...

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CDBU says review of university funding must be “radical”

Press release: 18 February, 2018 The Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) welcomes the government announcement of a review into university funding. We hope the review will be far-ranging and go back to first principles rather than just tinker with...

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UKRI

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Universities UK

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University funding

English higher education in pursuit of income: the consequences

Guest post by Prof G.R.Evans In the last few years there have been radical changes in the way English higher education is funded and regulated.  That has had negative consequences not only for students  but also at the receiving end of funding, where higher education...

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Widening access

News round-up: Ditch predicted grades for university admissions

A think tank attacks grade inflation, while a new study calls for an end to the UK admissions system based on predicted A-level grades   Too many firsts risk universities’ credibility, says think tank BBC, 21/06/2018 Universities risk losing their credibility due to...

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