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Office for Students
The Office for Students (OfS) is currently caught up in the crossfire of a government-inspired ‘culture-war’ on universities. This has included passage of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act in May 2023 to address an alleged ‘no platforming’ of right-wing and gender-critical speakers.  The OfS has now published its proposals for an independent complaints...
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Words by Dr Heather McKnight, founder of the social enterprise Magnetic Ideals and Doctor of Legal Studies. In 1970, the Commission on Academic Freedom and the Law (CAFL) released research exposing changes in how universities were using the law: a discontinuity that both marked and reflected the historical moment. The joint commission between the National...
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Words by Professor David Midgley.  The writing was on the wall in January. It was then that the government published its response to Dame Shirley Pearce’s review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework, commonly known as the TEF.  Dame Shirley’s carefully argued and judiciously worded report had pointed out that the best way...
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Sexual abuse at English and Welsh universities has been described as a “public scandal” after a report revealed that universities are systematically failing to address instances of assault and harassment, while another report commissioned by Universities UK has claimed that British universities “perpetuate institutional racism”. Meanwhile, extra time and funding for PhD students has been...
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Words by Eric Lybeck, Presidential Academic Fellow at the Manchester Institute of Education. Yesterday, Policy Exchange published a report on academic freedom in British universities drawing on a flawed survey with inconclusive results. This did not stop major newspapers from declaring the report evidence of the “epidemic of left-wing bias” in academia. Equally, it is...
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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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The election result could have major implications for the higher education sector, including the possibility of recruitment challenges in the wake of Brexit   UK universities face up to Brexit after Tory election win Times Higher Education, 13/12/2019, John Morgan The certainty that Brexit will happen, a potential reshaping of the research funding system to...
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Professor GR Evans takes a look at what the three major political parties have planned for higher education   For those of us interested in higher education, one of the most eagerly-awaited aspects of the manifestos was how they would deal with the recommendations of the Augar Review into higher education funding. The review had...
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As more 18-year olds are applying to university and more gain places through clearing,  Labour wants to move to a system of applying to university after A-level results   Knowledge exchange framework review before funding link Times Higher Education, 23/08/2019, Chris Havergal The forthcoming knowledge exchange framework is likely to determine the distribution of institutional...
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The Higher Education Funding Council for England did an excellent job of maintaining a register of providers. So why is the Office for Students struggling, asks Professor G.R.Evans   The Office for Students (OfS), fully in operation from 1 August after its first-year transition period, is behind with its registrations of providers. Given the imminence...
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