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News round-up
This week, a new universities minister takes the helm – and despite a gradual rise in students from disadvantaged backgrounds attending university, the top public schools still dominate Oxbridge entry   Eton and Westminster among eight schools dominating Oxbridge The Guardian, 07/12/2018, Sally Weale Eight top schools in the UK get as many pupils into...
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A new study finds that the larger part of tuition fees is spent on support, admin and buildings rather than tuition – and the two-year degree makes one of its periodic reappearances   Scrap REF and allocate QR funding by headcount, says professor Times Higher Education, 23/11/2018, Anna McKie Quality-related research funding should be distributed...
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More discouraging news on Brexit, and UK universities’ ties to Saudi Arabia have come under scrutiny   Universities’ Saudi ties under scrutiny after Khashoggi killing Times Higher Education, 26/10/2018, Ellie Bothwell Western universities are under increasing pressure to reject funding from Saudi Arabia and terminate their partnerships with the country in the wake of the...
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Brexit dominates the headlines this week, as Imperial announces a partnership with a German university and a scientist warns of the ‘catastrophic’ effect leaving the EU could have on cancer research   University ‘dual nationality’ plan for Brexit BBC, 10/10/2018, Sean Coughlan A top UK university is planning a ‘unique’ post-Brexit arrangement with a German...
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Private school heads argue that unconditional offers lead to worse A-level results, while vice-chancellors say that essay mills should be made illegal   Top schools call for an end to universities’ use of unconditional offers The Guardian, 28/08/2018, Richard Adams Elite private schools have called for universities to cut back on the use of unconditional...
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The UK spends less on R&D than Iceland, the new Welsh funding regime is less generous than it seems and the removal of the cap on student numbers has led to some universities losing out in the fight for students   UK flounders behind Iceland, Luxembourg and Denmark for University R&D spend FE News, 30/08/2018,...
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Universities dish out cash ‘bribes’ to students with unconditional offers to hit their grades i newspaper, 17/08/2018, Richard Vaughan Universities have been accused of dishing out cash “bribes” to students with unconditional offers of places to stop them slacking off before taking A-levels. Institutions are promising the financial incentives, worth up to £3,00, to students...
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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 “rocketing” grade inflation, a think tank has said. According to Reform, the...
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The mental health of both academics and students comes under scrutiny, and a survey shows that most students don’t feel they are receiving value for money when it comes to teaching   Cardiff plans review after suicide of ‘overworked’ lecturer Times Higher Education, 08/06/2018, Rachael Pells Cardiff University has said that it will review the...
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Discussions about how to improve access for less advantaged students show no sign of abating – and subject-level TEF comes under attack from the Russell Group ‘Relax A-level grades for some medical students’ BBC, 24/05/2018, Katherine Sellgreen Academic entry requirements for medical degrees should be relaxed for students applying from the worst UK secondary schools,...
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