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Opinion
The repercussions of Covid-19 are being felt across the higher education sector as Universities UK warn that without support some institutions risk collapse, students go on rent strike, and the REF and TEF are postponed indefinitely Universities UK: state bailout required to save institutions – Times Higher Education, Jack Grove, 10/04/2020 Some UK universities could...
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On Monday, the Labour Party tried unsuccessfully to block the legislation that would enable the new Office for Students to regulate universities. Professor GR Evans takes a look at the arguments During the debates on the Higher Education and Research Bill, members of the House of Lords repeatedly expressed concerns about the way statutory instruments...
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The government believes that university courses can be rated according to the level of teaching intensity they provide. Professor GR Evans detects a lack of joined-up thinking “Prospective students deserve to know which courses deliver great teaching and great outcomes – and which ones are lagging behind,” said the minister for higher education launching a...
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UCU has asked external examiners to resign in support of the strike over pensions. But what exactly does an external examiner do? Professor GR Evans reflects on the value of an undersung role On 15 March the University and College Union (UCU) asked external examiners to “resign” in support of the strike over proposed USS pension...
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Opinion piece by D. V. M. Bishop The Teaching Excellence and Outcomes Framework (TEF) was introduced at an institutional level in 2016. It uses metrics from the National Student Survey, together with information on drop-out rates, and on student outcomes. These are benchmarked against demographic information and combined to give an ‘initial hypothesis’ about the...
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It seemed that the pensions dispute had been resolved – and then union members voted to reject it. So who decides when an agreement has been reached, asks Professor GR Evans The press was quick off the mark to announce a resolution to the pensions dispute when talks with ACAS involving Universities UK and the...
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Professor GR Evans looks at the history of an organisation that has rarely been out of the news in recent weeks – and asks what powers it really has   Universities UK has been in the news recently during the upset caused by the proposals to make major changes to the USS pension scheme. It...
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A Freedom of Information request from the University and College Union reveals a reluctance by universities to share information about their use of teaching staff on hourly contracts Casual staff have always played an important role in university teaching. Many graduate students and postdocs supplement their income by delivering lectures and tutorials, gaining valuable experience...
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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 furious public controversy ensued over the appointment of...
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Academic pensions may seem like a niche interest. But, argues Dr Rowan Cerys Tomlinson, proposals to change the current pension scheme represent an assault on the entire sector I became an academic for many reasons: because of my intellectual curiosity, because I wanted to contribute to society by teaching, because academia offered the heady mixture...
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