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  • Future trends in the information landscape

    Future trends in the information landscape

    By Alison Allden – The UK Higher Education (HE) sector relies on a complex network of information systems that underpin every aspect of academic and non-academic activity. These business information systems must support the whole learning life-cycle, including, course design, marketing, recruitment, enrolment, funding, achievement, credit transfer and alumni relations. Furthermore, there are systems that need to support the full range of research and enterprise processes within an institution. In addition to their operational role these systems produce data and […]

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  • HE in FE: renaissance or reformation?

    HE in FE: renaissance or reformation?

    ByNick Davy- In the UK, higher education (HE) courses delivered by further education (FE) providers such as colleges, are presently under the spotlight as the Coalition Government grapple with the complexities of creating a more market-orientated higher education system. Speculation about the likely contents of the delayed HE White Paper is the bread and butter conversation of many a conference lunch break. However, perhaps much of this frenzied focus and speculation about the costs and structure of undergraduate general education is […]

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  • How university hinterlands can drive progression

    How university hinterlands can drive progression

    By Sue Betts and Kate Burrell – Linking London has been working as a partnership in the permeable area between higher and further education, ‘the university and college hinterland[1]’ for five years. We have worked collaboratively with as many as thirty five London higher and further education partners, to bring ‘clarity, coherence and certainty of progression’ to vocational learners. It sounds like a relatively straightforward proposition, to afford the vocational learner a similar expectation and clarity of progression that learners […]

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  • Future access to HE: a view from an ‘Independent/State School Partnership’

    Future access to HE: a view from an ‘Independent/State School Partnership’

    By Peter Rawling – In 2007 seven schools got together to form an Independent/State School Partnership (ISSP) in the Thames Valley area. The primary aims of the partnership were to raise attainment at GCSE and to raise aspirations to stay on in education at both post-16 and post-18 levels. Three of the schools already had large Sixth Forms and considerable experience of getting students into higher education, others were developing Sixth Forms and entering the UCAS process for the first […]

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  • Diversity in higher education and social mobility

    Diversity in higher education and social mobility

    By Matt Grist and Julia Margo – Let us introduce you to Asa (not her real name). We met Asa at a Community College in Hackney. Asa was a ‘learning advocate’, someone who represents the college to external visitors like us, and who observes lessons, carries out research and advocates on behalf of students to the college’s senior staff. Asa was a bright, focussed young woman. And she wanted to go to university. What she wanted to study was radiography. […]

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  • A worried parent writes

    A worried parent writes

    By Stefan Stern – “Plumbing college.” This was my wife’s not entirely satirical answer to the question about where she hoped our children might end up studying. Plumbing college clearly has a lot to recommend it. You learn useful and relevant skills there. You become eminently employable. And you probably don’t find yourself having £30,000 of tuition fees to pay back when you finally complete the course. But all this talk of fees and employability takes us down an avenue […]

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  • What should higher education be for?

    What should higher education be for?

    By Charles Seaford, Laura Stoll and Louis Coiffait – In the foreword of his recent report on UK higher education funding, Lord Browne wrote that: “the return to graduates for studying will be on average around 400%”.   In this world view higher education is an economic investment, and there is and should be pressure to take a high paying job. Indeed it would be inefficient for graduates to take lower paid jobs: the market, as manifest in salary scales, […]

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  • The future funding of higher education: has the Treasury got the sums wrong?

    The future funding of higher education: has the Treasury got the sums wrong?

    By Pam Tatlow – Regardless of any Liberal-Democrat election manifesto promise, the die for higher fees was cast when George Osborne’s October 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) adopted the assumption that the public funding of teaching in English universities was a subsidy rather than an investment. In the ensuing and often heated debate about the impact on institutions, students and graduates, of allowing fees to rise to £9,000, surprisingly little has been said about the implications for the Exchequer, the […]

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  • How a better HE funding system could make everybody happy

    How a better HE funding system could make everybody happy

    By Johnny Rich – Minimal student debt, properly funded universities, low cost to the taxpayer and highly employable graduates available to recruiters at the right price. An impossible pipe dream, surely? Actually, no. But unfortunately, such a confluence of virtues would indeed be impossible under the current HE funding system. That is because each is set at odds with another. For students to have low debts, the universities must go without funds or the taxpayer must foot the bill. And, […]

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