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Government
Once again, the return of staff and students to university campuses has dominated Higher Education news. UCU insist that the risks of spreading Covid-19 is still far too high, especially without proper Track and Trace and testing protocols in place. Meanwhile, the DfE discussed new legislation to “protect free speech and academic freedom” at universities,...
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As the government scrambles to save face after the A-levels fiasco, universities are preparing to reopen their campuses to staff and students. UCU have called on the government to halt in-person teaching completely, warning that the mass movement of over a million students across the UK could cause a “major public health crisis”. New on...
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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 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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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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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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