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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2008): Education - UK - higher

20 new campuses to warm up the UK's higher education coldspots

A. Lipsett

Education Guardian, March 11th 2008, p. 12

The Universities Secretary, John Denham, is aiming to improve access to HE in 'coldspot' areas of the UK where it is in short supply. Towns and cities with little or no local university provision will be encouraged to bid for funding for new university campuses and facilities.

Extra spending fails to boost student numbers

G. Paton

Daily Telegraph, Mar. 28th 2008, p. 2

The number of school leavers entering higher education has barely increased under the Labour government despite large investment in attracting more students. Attendance rates have grown only fractionally, raising questions over the effectiveness of policies designed to boost participation.

From the lab to the workplace

S. Lynch

The Independent Postgraduate Supplement, March 6th 2008, p. II and III

Reports on the emergence of UK GRADschools designed to help prepare PhD students for the job market by focusing on their transferable skills and providing training in teamwork, career planning and personal development skills.

Funding blow to part-time students

D. Turner

Financial Times, March 20th 2008, p.3

Plans by universities to build their increasingly crucial market in part-time students have been threatened by a government decision to withdraw funding for many second degrees.

Higher education, the graduate and the labour market: from Robbins to Dearing

J. Sutherland

Education and Training vol. 50, 2008, p.47-51

This article offers a perspective on issues pertaining to higher education, the graduate and the labour market, drawing on two major reports in the history of higher education in the UK Robbins (1963) and Dearing (1997). In the context of several of the accepted performance indicators, higher education policy is seen to have been 'successful'. However, the author suggests this success must be qualified on the grounds that the majority of the UK school leaving population continue to enter the labour market with no qualifications whatsoever.

International student recruitment to universities in England: discourse, rationales and globalisation

C. Bolsmann and H. Miller

Globalisation, Societies and Education vol. 6, 2008, p.75-88

The recruitment of international students to universities in England has become a central issue in an era of globalisation for university administrators, senior managers, international offices and heads of schools and faculties. This paper compares the rhetoric, policy rationales and reasons for the recruitment of international students through the use of in-depth interviews with key role players at four English universities. The authors identify a range of discourses in the recruitment of international students and conclude that an economic competition rationale is dominant, expressed within the discourse of globalisation.

Labour's pledge on university numbers in 2010 is 'doomed to fail'

A. Frean

The Times, March 28th 2008, p.37

David Willetts, the Shadow Universities Secretary, has said that it will take more than a century to reach the target of 50% of young people entering higher education. The numbers of 18 to 30 year olds entering university has only risen 0.6 per cent since 1999, although there is variation between the sexes when this figure is broken down: women are now marginally more likely to enter higher education than their male peers.

Leading universities face cut in funds to recruit poor students

P. Curtis

The Guardian, March 6th 2008, p. 14

According to an analysis of this year's university budgets, although overall funding to combat elitism at top universities by recruiting poorer students has gone up by 15 million since last year, 50 out of 90 English universities are facing budget cuts in this area. Money designed to be used to attract a broader range of students to universities such as Oxford and Cambridge has instead been diverted to former polytechnics.

Oxford's finest are offered financial lure to work in tough urban schools

A. Frean

The Times, March 3rd 2008, p.28

The University of Oxford is offering 1,000 to graduates who agree to teach in Britain's most challenging secondary schools in a bid to encourage state school pupils to apply to Oxford. The move follows research from the Sutton Trust which indicates that over half of state school teachers would not encourage their brightest pupils to apply to Oxbridge.

Rise of the prodigies: 50% increase in university students under 18

P. Curtis

The Guardian, March 31st 2008, p. 4

In the past six years there has been a 50% increase in the number of under-18s studying at English universities. There are currently nearly 8,000 under-18s studying at university, with the recent increase likely to be due to ambitious youngsters taking advantage of new anti-discriminatory practices which prevent institutions from denying university places on age grounds.

Schools and universities link up to give 'earn as you learn' option to students

R. Garner

The Independent, March 3rd 2008, p.4

Reports on a project which has been running for four years at a school in North Tyneside where students were offered jobs to stay and work at their schools while completing a university degree as part of an attempt to encourage those from low-income households into higher education. The scheme is now being offered to schools, colleges and employers nationwide.

'University challenge' for 20 new campuses

A. Frean

The Times, March 3rd 2008, p. 28

HEFCE has set aside 150 million from its development fund for a new programme which aims to expand existing university campuses in England as well as create new ones. Over 10,000 new students would be served by the developments which will be built over the next six years.

(See also Financial Times, March 3rd 2008, p. 5)

Universities told they must diversify to thrive

N. Woolcock

The Times, March 20th 2008, p. 37

A report by Universities UK, which represents the vice-chancellors, has indicated that student numbers are set to fall by 70,000 by 2020. According to the authors of the report, universities must diversify to thrive and may have to open their doors to greater numbers of overseas students or provide professional training.

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