The Guardian, May 21st 2012, p. 4
Nick Clegg returned to the issue of university funding for poor students, the scene of his greatest political anguish, by proposing a student premium designed to guarantee financial help for all children on free school meals entering higher education. It was likely to be worth about £2,500 a year. The scheme drew on the lessons of the pupil premium for children on free school meals in schools, and was designed to give children from poor families a guarantee that if they made it to university they would be financially supported by the state. Ministers insisted this was not a simple rebranding of existing help, and the guarantee to poor students represented a re-engineering of the currently haphazard system that would boost aspiration. The idea formed part of a new social mobility review which was billed as central to Clegg's political thinking.
Daily Telegraph, May 30th 2012, p. 1 + 2
Higher education leaders warned in a letter to the Prime Minister that a toughening up of rules surrounding student visas could drive bright applicants towards institutions in other countries. They called on the government to remove university students from net migration counts to help drive the economy and boost university incomes.
The Guardian, May 29th 2012, p. 10
A new state school with a focus on aviation engineering, backed by the owners of Heathrow, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, was to open on the outskirts of London in the next two years, the government announced. The Heathrow University Technical College - which would be based in Hillingdon, West London - was one of a new wave of comprehensive schools that would emphasise vocational education. Fifteen new schools were announced including the Elstree UTC, which would specialise in electronic engineering and digital technology; one in Salford, which would focus on creative industries, and an engineering academy based at the University of Warwick and backed by Jaguar Land Rover.
J. Taylor and C. Baines
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 34, 2012, p. 111-124
In recent years, UK universities have become increasingly concerned with performance management. This trend reflects both growing competition and marketisation within higher education, and the increasing requirements for accountability. In response, institutions have begun to explore the application of formal methodologies for performance management, initially developed in business and industry. One such approach is the Balanced Scorecard. Based on a qualitative study of the application of the Balanced Scorecard in four UK universities and interviews with senior managers, the paper looks at the impact of this technique on the formation, monitoring and evaluation of strategy and policy; issues of motivation, implementation and format are also considered. The paper provides an insight into the application of new management techniques within higher education and identifies key issues to be addressed within the process.
The Guardian, May 17th 2012, p. 15
University students in England spend almost no more time with their lecturers than they did six years ago, despite paying three times as much in tuition fees, a study has shown. A poll of more than 9,000 students by the Higher Education Policy Institute found that first- and second-year undergraduates have, on average, 13.9 hours of timetabled tutorials, seminars and lectures a week. Six years ago, when the institute carried out a similar survey, students had 13.7 hours a week. Between 2006 and 2012, tuition fees in England trebled from £1,000 to £3,000. In autumn 2012 they will rise again - to up to £9,000 a year. The amount universities receive from the state has been cut. Instead, students are being asked to pay more in the form of a loan that they repay when they graduate and are earning more than £21,000. The research shows that asking students to pay more may have led to them spending more of their own time on their degrees. Today's undergraduates study alone for 14.4 hours each week on average, compared with 13.1 hours six years ago, the institute found.
Daily Telegraph, May 22nd 2012, p. 1 The Deputy Prime Minister announced in a speech to the Sutton Trust conference that government planned to have leading universities reduce entry grades required from working-class applicants educated at state schools. He told universities to recruit students on the basis of their potential to excel, not purely on previous academic attainment. Mr Clegg also announced a new social mobility strategy, under which all the Coalition government's social policies would be rated against 17 new indicators to measure progress in narrowing gaps in the health, education and employment chances of people from the poorest homes and their peers every year.
(See also Daily Telegraph, May 21st 2012, p.2)