Category

Covid-19
Words by Steven Jones, Professor of Higher Education at the University of Manchester. One reason that the government took so long to U-turn over this summer’s A-level debacle is that the qualification itself holds a much loftier status in society, particularly among the ruling classes, than it deserves. The ‘mutant’ algorithm was considered necessary because...
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After thousands of A-level and BTEC students were downgraded on results day, Gavin Williams and Ofqual – in a highly predictable U-turn – scrapped the algorithm and allowed students to use Centre Assessed Grades (teachers’ predictions) instead, allowing many to secure their university places. While this is excellent news for students, universities have been left...
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Statement from the Council for the Defence of British Universities on A-level results. English universities have been remarkably silent about the fiasco over Ofqual’s determination of A-level grades. Universities UK issued an extraordinarily misjudged statement on Thursday, stating that: “Students receiving their results today can be incredibly proud of their work and achievements in circumstances no-one could have...
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Words by Liz Morrish, independent scholar. One thing governments have learned over the last 30 years is not to let a disaster go to waste. In the guise of offering a survival strategy for universities in the pandemic, the Department for Education has issued a document: Establishment of a Higher Education Restructuring Regime in Response...
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This blog post was kindly contributed by Professor Dorothy Bishop. It was originally featured on her personal blog, which you can find here. An article in the Times Higher today considers the fate of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).  I am a long-term critic of the TEF, on the grounds that it lacks an adequate rationale,  has little statistical...
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The government recently published their ‘Restructuring Regime’ for universities facing financial collapse, causing many to question whether university autonomy is a thing of the past. The petitions committee announced that there will be no automatic tuition fee refunds for students, and a new student loan repayment system has been heavily criticised for ‘misleading’ graduates. Latest...
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This paper was kindly contributed by staff at the University of Leeds. It is the fifth in our series titled ‘Manifestos for Change’, in which we are seeking forward-thinking responses to the present Covid-19 crisis, and the crisis of marketisation more generally. If you have created a similar proposal for your institution, and would like it...
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PRESS RELEASE: July 21, 2020 The Council for the Defence of British Universities is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Rowan Williams (Lord Williams of Oystermouth) as our new Chair of Trustees.  We offer a warm welcome to Lord Williams, who we know will be an invaluable addition to the organisation. Lord Williams offered...
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Words by Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford.  There are striking differences between countries and cultures in the manner in which the pandemic experience has been regulated. These differences are associated with variations in the outcomes of the pandemic, and have also had practical consequences for higher education. Remarkably, the...
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Ucas recently announced that UK universities had received a record number of applications over the lockdown period, despite growing concerns about the impacts of coronavirus on the higher education sector. Many universities are pushing ahead with devastating cuts, and comments from the Universities Minister have sparked a debate about the value of humanities subjects. Latest...
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