A lot can happen in a month. Let’s recap in a two-post monster.
News links abound in this post. In the other, I’ll treat you to some of the best student linkage.
In HE news, two big things happened. You know, BIG big.
White Paper Fun
First up, a government White Paper on higher education was published. Some people wanted it to go further. Others wondered why postgraduate issues weren’t addressed. A lot has been said since its publication.
I covered the White Paper on TheUniversityBlog the day it came out. So many others were quick to comment. Here’s just some of what’s out there…
Understandably, Times Higher Education had a lot of articles on the paper:
- The big picture show
- Small colleges to get shot at title
- ‘Well-regarded’ providers in line for less frequent, light-touch inspections
- More power for HEFCE to tackle failings
- Disquiet as sector-wide vision turns into ‘numbers control’
THE’s editor, Ann Mroz, naturally led on the White Paper too, saying it was big…you know, BIG big. But with no grand plan.
The Guardian said that while some will win, others will be ‘screwed’.
VC of Salford, Martin Hall, called the White Paper “Both bad and dangerous” and described the proposals as “pale and disappointing”.
Shortly after the paper’s publication, a range of campaign groups set out a not exactly glowing response to its content, producing an alternative to the White Paper.
Leicester’s Third University subsequently suggested an alternative to the alternative…
Richard Hall took the White Paper’s title, “Putting students at the heart of the system” and suggested, “You are not been paying attention“.
More recently, more commentary has arrived. It’s unlikely to be the last!
Andrew McGettigan lists ten things everyone working in or studying art should know about the White Paper.
Patrick McGhee, VC of the University of East London, says we “need to challenge the fees model itself” if we are not to sleepwalk into problems similar to those in the US system.
NUS President, Liam Burns, writes in the Guardian, “Ministers must answer this question — does an identifiable fee put students off?”
OFFA the scale…
Okay, I’m guessing you’ve had enough White Paper linkage. What was the second BIG big thing to happen in the HE sector?
I’ll put you out of your misery. The other big development in July was the Office For Fair Access (OFFA) agreeing to fees set by the country’s universities.
Yes, higher fees have been confirmed throughout the land. I did a rough and ready calculation to work out average fees:
Estimated average fee = £8376
Average fee after waivers = £8136
Average fee after likely financial support = £7801
This is slightly different to the Times Higher Education information, which is available in an easy to browse spreadsheet, but it’s close enough, so I didn’t revisit the calculations. Give or take a few pounds won’t matter much, if we’re to believe that a huge rise in fees shouldn’t bother future students.
As you’d expect, the final fees agreements got a lot of media coverage:
The Independent published the full list of fees for 2012/13.
What does this mean for poor families? William Cullerne Bown looks at OFFA’s focus on “outcomes and targets”
If you’re looking for study-related links instead of this recent events malarkey, you’ve got all that to come in the next post. Oh, happy days!