News round-up: Women with master’s degrees earn less than men without them

A master’s degree boosts earning potential, but male graduates still earn more than female ones. And there’s cross-party backing for plans to reintroduce the two-year post-study work visa


Women with master’s degrees paid less than men without them in England

The Guardian, 26/04/2019, Richard Adams

Women in England with postgraduate degrees still earn less than men with only bachelor’s degrees, while salaries for graduate men are growing at a faster pace than for their female peers, according to the latest official data on graduate earnings.

The figures from the Department for Education’s graduate labour market statistics show that women with postgraduates degrees, including master’s degrees and doctorates, earn a median pay of £37,000 a year. But men with first degrees earned an average of £38,500 in 2018, while men holding postgraduate degrees were paid £43,000.

See also:

Two degrees now needed to get higher pay

BBC, 26/04/2019, Sean Coughlan


Cross-party backing for UK post-study work visa amendment

Times Higher Education, 26/04/2019, Chris Havergal

Former universities minister Jo Johnson has attracted significant cross-party support for his bid to force the UK government to reintroduce two-year post-study work visas – suggesting that it has a strong chance of success.

The amendment to the immigration bill, which also seeks to bar any future government from capping overseas student numbers without parliamentary approval, was proposed on 26 April by Mr Johnson and Paul Blomfield, the Labour MP who is co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Students.


UK stands by hybrid journals in ‘read and publish’ Springer deal

Times Higher Education, 26/04/2019, Rachael Pells

UK universities have extended their “read and publish” deal with Springer Nature, continuing to rely on hybrid journals despite growing opposition to the model.

The three-year agreement struck by Jisc Collections, announced on 26 April, will allow UK researchers to make their articles freely available in Springer-branded hybrid periodicals, and to access subscription articles too.


Brexit and post-18 review create ‘uncertainty in every direction’ for UK HE

Times Higher Education, 25/04/2019, Rachael Pells

UK universities face continued uncertainty as a consequence of the extension of the Brexit deadline and the delayed post-18 review, leaving them unable to plan ahead, warned sector leaders, who learned this week that British institutions have been forced out of a key European research project.

The European Union’s decision to allow the UK six more months to plan its departure from the bloc came as good news for those fearful of the country crashing out without a trade deal last month. But some academic leaders have expressed concerns over the impact that another six months of indecision could have on their institutions.


Questions on oversight for England’s 30K ‘subcontracted’ students

Times Higher Education, 24/04/2019, Simon Baker

The oversight of “franchised” higher education in England under the country’s new regulatory regime has been spotlighted after figures showed that some universities subcontract the teaching of thousands of students to private providers.

Data from the Office for Students suggest that more than 30,000 undergraduates will be enrolled at a university in 2018-19 but will actually be taught elsewhere for part or all of this year.


The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary

BBC, 23/04/2019, anon

The UK’s largest academic institution is celebrating its 50th birthday. Founded in 1969, the Open University delivers flexible distance-learning opportunities to about 9,000 people in Wales.

Here two of its alumni share their stories, and explain how the OU transformed their lives for the better.


Elsevier in €9m Norwegian deal to end paywalls for academic papers

Financial Times, 23/04/2019, Patricia Nilsson

Elsevier, the academic publisher, will on Tuesday announce a €9m deal with a Norwegian consortium under which published research will be freely accessible. The agreement follows several contract terminations by universities in the US and Europe who accused the company of not meeting demand for open access to scientific studies published in its journals.


Plans to end compulsory records on UK’s non-academic staff ‘shocking’

Times Higher Education, 23/04/2019, Nick Mayo

Proposals to end the compulsory collection of data on non-academic staff in the key figures on the higher education workforce have been criticised as a “retrograde step” that neglects their “crucial role” in universities.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency, the designated data body in England, is consulting on the services that it offers to higher education providers.


Quality bodies urged to tackle higher education ‘corruption’

Times Higher Education, 19/04/2019, Anna McKie

A report that details “significant corruption” in higher education worldwide – including professors with fake doctoral degrees in Russia and officials at a Japanese university adjusting results to keep out female students – warns that quality bodies lack the mechanisms to uncover and root out corruption.

Researchers from Coventry University undertook an in-depth literature review and conducted an international survey of quality assurance bodies around the world. Their report, sponsored and published by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation – the US group of degree-awarding institutions – and its International Quality Group, not only finds “significant corruption in higher education” but also that quality bodies around the world often lack the procedures necessary to unearth corruption.


EU students to get free university tuition in Scotland until 2024 while English pay up to £9,250 a year

Daily Telegraph, 19/04/2019, Simon Johnson

SNP ministers have announced that EU students will continue getting free university tuition in Scotland until at least 2024 even if Brexit removes the legal obligation to give them the taxpayer-funded perk.

Until now, EU laws have meant the Scottish Government has had to extend its free tuition policy for Scots to students from the Continent at a cost of around £93 million a year.


UK universities pay out £90m on staff ‘gagging orders’ in past two years

The Guardian, 17/04/2019, Simon Murphy

UK universities have spent nearly £90m on payoffs to staff that come with “gagging orders” in two years, raising fears that victims of misconduct at higher education institutions are being silenced.

As many as 4,000 settlements, some of which are thought to relate to allegations of bullying, discrimination and sexual misconduct, have been made with non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) attached since 2017.


Conference cancelled amid speakers’ fears over fallout with transgender lobby

Daily Telegraph, 13/04/2019, Camilla Turner

An immigration conference has been cancelled amid fears of a backlash from the transgender lobby, it has emerged.

The Centre for Crime and Social Justice (CCSJ) was planning to hold a summit in June for academics and lawyers to discuss a new Home Office initiative aimed at identifying and deporting foreign criminals.