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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2009): Education - UK - higher

Academics plan to boycott new student rules

P. Curtis

The Guardian, Apr. 14th 2009, p. 5

A group of academics is threatening to boycott the government's new immigration rules for students, saying that orders that they monitor international students' movements are discriminatory. The academics say that they are increasingly being drawn into the role of 'policing students' by the immigration authorities. The new points-based immigration system rules that international students have to be sponsored by an accredited institution, an attempt to weed out bogus colleges that are fronts for immigration scams.

Action to tackle graduate jobs crisis

R. Garner

The Independent, Apr. 9th 2009, p. 3

The Government is drawing up plans to head off an unemployment crisis among the 400,000 graduates who will leave university this summer in the middle of a recession. A package of measures to allow graduates to work as interns in the private or public sector, do voluntary work or stay on at university is expected to be unveiled by John Denham, the Universities and Skills Secretary. As a first step, universities and colleges will arrange more than 2,000 internships and work placements for new graduates, mainly with local firms.

Full universities will turn away thousands

J. Sugden

The Times, Apr. 9th 2009, p. 3

Up to 50,000 sixth-formers will be denied places at university this autumn because of a surge in applications combined with a freeze in undergraduate places. Vice-chancellors and the head of the admissions service warned of a looming crisis with many popular courses already full and with the possibility of nearly one in ten applicants being left without places. In addition, the number of places available through the clearing system - which gives students who missed their A-level grades another chance to apply - will be restricted severely.

(See also The Times, Apr. 24th 2009, p. 20)

'I can survive on jam sandwiches for the next three years': the impact of the new fees regime on students' attitudes to HE and debt

F. Maringe, N. Foskett and D. Roberts

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 23, 2009, p. 145-160

The aim of this research was to draw from a project sponsored by the Higher Education Academy which focused on investigating the likely impact of the recently introduced new fees regime on students' attitudes to HE and to issues of debt. Based on a sample of 64 students approaching the end of their A level study in four Further Education Colleges, the research utilised focus group interviews. The research found that while the issue of debt was a significant concern for many students, the desire to go to university either immediately or in the long term remained a strong priority for them. However, different types of debt aversion, including risk debt aversion, sticker type debt aversion, value-based debt aversion and life-style aversion were evident from the students' discourses.

Institutional construction of disabled students

S. Prowse

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 31, 2009, p. 89-96

This paper reports on the selected findings of a research project centred on one new university in England. The project aimed to explore the experiences of 44 disabled students who fell into one of two distinct groups: those in local further education eligible to apply to higher education (HE), and those who were already in the HE system. A number of themes emerged from the group interview data, but the article focuses on personal identity and how the institution has an impact on the individuals' sense of self through its management of disability.

Missions statements in Wales: the impact of markets and policy on congruence between institutions

H. James and J. Huisman

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 31, 2009, p. 23-35

This study seeks to compare the mission statements of higher education institutions in Wales as well as to compare these with regional level policy statements and demands from the market. The underlying idea was to reveal the extent to which mission statements actually differ and are (or are not) in line with such regional policies and market demands. The study shows that congruence of missions is expressed in elements relating to excellence, research and a commitment to Wales and its economy. At the same time, missions are very diverse, with no two institutions stressing the same set of mission elements. The findings do not indicate that mission diversity is threatened by policy or market forces.

Oxford wants tuition fees increased to 11,000 a year

H. Watt and R. Winnett

Daily Telegraph, Apr. 27th 2009, p. 1

Ministers are to begin a review of university tuition fees in the summer of 2009 and several institutions, including Oxford, will push for the present cap on fees of 3,145 per year to be dramatically increased or removed. The Government is unable to offer universities more public funding, and students will therefore face sharp fee increases.

Students ask if higher education is really worth it as rising fees and the cost of loans hit hard

N. Woolcock

The Times, Apr. 22nd 2009, p.11

A report commissioned by the Government and jointly produced between the Institute for Employment Studies and the National Centre for Social Research about student finance suggests that spiralling fees and the cost of loans is having a significant impact on young people's decisions about higher education. One in 12 full-time students asked had considered dropping out because of financial problems. Students from working-class backgrounds were hit particularly badly by the increasing dependence on loans to fund studying.

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