higher education

Sic transit gloria LMU

Following some irregularities, the UK Border Agency has revoked London Metropolitan University‘s visa license. Not only can the university no longer recruit overseas (non-EU) students (a major source of income for all UK universities, and one of the few things that stops them from going bankrupt), but their existing overseas students have been told that they have sixty days to find alternative visa sponsors or they will be deported. LMU have estimated their annual income from overseas students at around £30M, about 20% of their total income. They currently have over 2000 overseas students.

The Browne Review report

Too depressing for words. If I can muster the energy, I’ll write a longer commentary later this week. For the time being, let me echo the words of Sally Hunt: “Lord Browne’s recommendations, if enacted, represent the final nail in the coffin for affordable higher education.”

Damned Lies: Student Participation Rates and HE Funding

Well, the previous post inspired some interesting discussion, as did ‘s related poll. asked for the source of some of the figures that I’d quoted, and this got me looking. I’d wanted to be able to give some more detailed figures initially, but was surprised (given the current funding debate) that they weren’t that easy to find. Using the data on the number of graduating students from the Higher Education Statistics Agency and population demographic data from Office of National Statistics, I put together the following table: Graduating UK domiciled FT students (first degree) by year Year Students 21 year… Read More »Damned Lies: Student Participation Rates and HE Funding

Deja vu

So, Vince Cable is proposing a graduate tax. Haven’t we been here before? It’s been a while since I posted about HE funding (posts passim), but it’s worth repeating some of the highlights: Back in 1997, the Dearing Report recommended that because “those with higher education qualifications are the main beneficiaries [of higher education], through improved employment prospects and pay”, “graduates in work should make a greater contribution to the costs of higher education in future”. The report goes on to recommend an income contingent scheme along the lines of the Australian Higher Education Contribution Scheme. Richard Gombrich’s article from… Read More »Deja vu

Those Coalition cuts, in full

From here, summarising BIS contributions to the announced GBP6Bn cuts package: £18 million by stopping low priority projects like the Semantic web and the SME Adjudicator That’s either data.gov.uk or the funding for the Web Science Institute scuppered (or possibly both), then.

That academic pay dispute

This morning, it was Isobel’s turn to wake up shouting at the radio. UCU have agreed to put UCEA’s offer of 13.1% to their membership (and not, as the BBC put it, agreed to the increase – learn how a democratic union operates!), so the industrial action will be suspended for the duration of the balloting procedure. I can’t say that I’m happy with this offer, and will probably vote against accepting it. can now look slightly smug for having been able to prepare for her marking. My role in assessment this year has been mainly limited to third year… Read More »That academic pay dispute

Down with that sort of thing

While buying a round of tea in the Students’ Union this lunchtime, I noticed that the chap standing next to me was wearing a t-shirt which read: Students Against Lecture Strike Action – salsa.susu.org This makes no sense on a number of counts: There is no “Lecture Strike Action”, because teaching is proceeding as usual. If they’re referring to people with teaching duties, they should be aware that these are called “lecturers”. As an aside, if the students can’t distinguish between “lecturers” and “lectures”, we’re doing something seriously wrong. This industrial action is not limited to lecturers, but to all… Read More »Down with that sort of thing

A departmental perspective on HE funding

Bumped into our head of school (and my former PhD supervisor) during lunch today and asked for her opinions on the likely outcome to the school of tonight’s debate, specifically the effects on student demographics. Her response was that the school is already planning to reduce the number of UK undergraduates and increase the number from overseas (predominantly non-EU), and that this was a fairly common move across the University.

YA Higher Education funding rant

One of the mailing lists that I read has had a discussion on the government’s proposals for the introduction of differential tuition fees in higher education that has been raging for the last week and a half. During the course of this, someone asked the question: “how has the government been able to pay for university fees for so many years and it’s only now when “we’re putting more into education” that they can’t?”

I was a little taken aback by this, and so wrote the following response.

Read More »YA Higher Education funding rant