HE policy update

Colleagues, please see below the recent policy update from Jane Forster, touching on Student Finance; International Students and Brexit; Fair Access and Progression, as well as other news:

Lots of interesting developments in the UK last week while there has been a rather distracting international politics story abroad.

Student finance

  • The government have launched two new consultations, one on loans for PGRs and another on maintenance loans for part-time students – both new and welcome developments – we will be preparing a response and I’ll link to the detailed questions next week for those interested in contributing.  The deadline is 16 December.
  • Wonkhe also report that “Professor Ian Cumming, chief executive of Health Education England, has warned that universities and trusts would be responsible for funding the growing number of places on nursing training courses from 2018. The government ended the cap on nursing places by replacing nursing bursaries with student loans earlier this year, and Cumming predicts that the number of students applying for places on nursing courses will continue to rise. HEE has a ‘flat-cash’ level to fund placements within the NHS. However he says that money to fund extra places would “either be a deal with the NHS or using money from another source”. This could dash the government’s hopes of increasing the numbers of ‘home-grown’ NHS staff, rather than recruiting from abroad. You can read more in the Nursing Times here.”
  • HEFCE have announced the latest round of funding for degree apprenticeships.

International students and Brexit

  • Wonkhe have published an interesting analysis of the impact of Brexit across the world
  • The NUS are continuing their campaign against the lack of student representation in the Office for Students – they are encouraging sabbatical officers to apply for the position of Chair of the OfS.

Fair access and progression

  • Nick Hillman from HEPI wrote a challenging blog for the UPP Foundation suggesting that bursaries are not the best way to support WP students.
  • Wonkhe report that the UPP Foundation has announced funding for a new research project on how universities can support students from lower socio-economic backgrounds to improve employment outcomes after university – see the full press release here.

And in other news

  • Our Pro-Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement, Dr Sonal Minocha, was with Jo Johnson, as part of the Prime Minister’s visit to India this week.  There has been a lot of coverage of the impact of immigration restrictions on Indian students – see for example the BBC on 7th November, and BBC reality check.
  • I am giving a student briefing with SUBU on HE policy on Wednesday at 2.45 in the Barnes Lecture Theatre on Talbot Campus as part of Parliament Week – watch out for other events promoted by SUBU.


Jane Forster

VC’s Policy Adviser

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