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The Budget, Skills, and where’s Higher Education?

The big surprise in the budget and Spending review yesterday was what was missing. Some universities were acknowledged as world-class but Higher Education was omitted from any plans except for their role in research investment. It appears there may be…

Budget, Spending Review, leaks, and universities

The launch day of the delayed Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) is upon us and we fear what is still to emerge on Wednesday.  There have been an unprecedented number of press releases and ‘leaks’ in advance of a budget vote…

University catering and who pays: Some food for thought

With universities and colleges bracing themselves for the budget and the Comprehensive Spending review (CSR), they will also be looking to find more sources of revenue. Catering for students as a ‘captive audience’ on campus is one such source with…

Higher education, fees loans, and the Labour conference

After the dust settled on the Labour Conference in Brighton this week, we are reflecting on what happened.  Most media outlets focussed their attention on divisions in the party between those trying to occupy the pragmatic centre ground and those…

Privatisation storm looms for universities

With more pressure piled onto universities in recent weeks as term begins, it looks like something is bound to break soon. The crisis in admissions and examinations is only generating a sense of foreboding. Add to this the increase in…

Changing the guard at the Department for Education

Major changes in the education leadership of the government in England were part of a ‘mid-term’ reshuffle last week that appears to be a clear out in preparation for an election that might be earlier than May 2024.  The signs…

2021 Examinations: From gold standard to fool’s gold

Earlier today saw the release of the examination results that determine university entrance for students across the UK. These are A-levels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Highers and Advanced Highers in Scotland. Those in Scotland and Wales were…