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  • Blue Skies Launch Event

    Blue Skies Launch Event

    The ‘standing-room-only‘ launch event for our publication, Blue Skies: New thinking about the future of higher education, took place on the morning of 23 May 2011 at our 80 Strand Office. Three authors from the publication, Universities Minister David Willetts, Rod Bristow of Pearson and Wendy Piatt of the Russell Group, gave short speeches and then took questions from the audience. Launch event photos are here and the videos of the speakers can be viewed below.   The launch event was originally […]

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  • Mature policies for higher education access

    Mature policies for higher education access

    By Nick Pearce –     Over the last two decades, higher education has been a growth sector in almost all advanced and developing economies. On average across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, graduation rates from university-level education have increased by a huge 21 percentage points in the past 13 years. The rate of change has been such that the UK – despite large increases in higher education enrolments – has slipped to mid-table in the OECD […]

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  • Putting students at the heart of higher education

    Putting students at the heart of higher education

    By David Willetts – The UK Coalition Government immediately accepted the main thrust of Lord Browne’s independent review of higher education, when it was published last year, because it put students at the heart of a more dynamic system. In all the controversy surrounding the parliamentary votes, the student demonstrations and the raw politics, this has been forgotten too often. The review team had a clear overarching objective: “we are relying on student choice to drive up quality. Students will […]

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  • The students of tomorrow

    The students of tomorrow

    By Aaron Porter – For those of you watching the recent debate on English higher education funding on our TV screens and on the front pages of our newspapers, you could be forgiven for thinking that higher education was predominantly made up of full-time undergraduates, largely aged between 18-22. Of course that is not the case, and is increasingly less likely to be the case as we start to get under the skin of an ever-changing and diverse higher education […]

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  • Universities and The Knowledge Age

    Universities and The Knowledge Age

    By David Docherty –   University and business relations have always ebbed and flowed. For the most part the relationship has been fruitful, creative and collaborative. On occasion, it’s been a dialogue between at best dysfunctional friends, at worst, warring tribes. But post the Browne Review we should take the opportunity for new and broader thinking about the role of universities in a knowledge-based economy. There are as many definitions of the knowledge economy as there are economists trying to […]

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  • A different horizon: higher education in South Africa

    A different horizon: higher education in South Africa

    By Fathima Dada – The latest available statistics from Higher Education South Africa (HESA) demonstrate that currently around 500,000 students are enrolled on a full-time basis at academic institutions across South Africa.  This includes full universities, comprehensive universities and universities of technology. Statistics from 2001 and 2009 respectively show a cumulative increase in enrolment, across these institutions, of around 140,000 (35 per cent), from a figure of 401,000 in 2001 to 541,000 in 2009. This figure does not include the […]

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  • The future of university rankings

    The future of university rankings

    By Phil Baty – Let us be frank. University rankings are crude. They simply cannot capture – let alone accurately measure – many of the things that matter most in higher education: how a great lecturer can transform the lives of their students for example, or how much free enquiry enhances our society. They can never be objective, because their indicators and methodologies are based on the subjective judgment of the compilers. At their worst, university rankings can impose uniformity […]

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  • Education, business and government: a new partnership for the 21st Century

    Education, business and government: a new partnership for the 21st Century

    By Julie Mercer –     Education in the UK is undergoing a seismic shift.  From changes in policy on SureStart through to higher education, the Coalition Government is reshaping the relationship between individuals and education. Within the context of economic recovery and the work to eliminate the UK’s fiscal deficit, the Government is rethinking its core obligations to citizens across a range of public services, including education. A fundamental, challenge is to agree when it is appropriate to pay […]

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  • Universities at the centre of growth: The role of business-engaged universities

    Universities at the centre of growth: The role of business-engaged universities

    By Libby Hackett and Sam Jones –   “A business facing university has a revolving door with business and the professions – not an interface or a portal but true interaction”[1]   Universities are key to growth. They play a central role to the UK economy and society, growing future talent, research and innovation. The economic and social benefits of our diverse university sector have been well documented over the years as commentators and government have tried to influence the […]

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