THE reports that English university leaders are pushing for a majority return to campus after Easter if infection rates continue to fall. It is timely, therefore, that OfS has updated its guidance on the subject.
OfS has also updated its guidance for universities on student and consumer protection during the pandemic.
Following concerns about the impact of the pandemic on the ability of PhD students to complete their studies on schedule, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) has published new advice on doctoral standards.
The government has published details of the support available to students under the UK’s new Turing scheme (which is intended to replace Erasmus+). Under the scheme, students could receive between £335 and £380 per month towards living costs with disadvantaged students eligible for an additional £110 per month.
Universities UK has written on behalf of its members to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension calling for a review of the estimates published last week on the basis that they represent an overreaction to a singular set of economic circumstances and unaffordable for employers and scheme members alike.
EDI, WIDENING PARTICIPATION
OfS has published new data on the attainment gap for both black and disabled students. The overall gap between white and black students has decreased from 24.7% in 2015/16 to 18.3% in 2019/20. The commentary from the OfS Director for Fair Access and Participation stresses that considerable improvement is still needed.
A review of Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter found that its self-assessment approach generated sufficient evidence to inform and guide race equality work within participating institutions. However, the review also found that black staff members have benefited less from the Charter’s development than staff from other ethnic minorities.
Innovate UK has announced £2 million in funding for female innovators and entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, Wonkhe has been thinking about why so few women are involved in university spinout companies and has made some suggestions on what can be done to tackle this issue.
The Universities Minister has answered a written question on the number of universities which have adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism (spoiler: “at least 91”).
BULLYING AND HARASSMENT
UUK guidance to be issued this summer will warn universities not to use Non Disclosure Agreements in sexual misconduct cases but is unlikely to recommend a blanket ban on staff-student relationships.
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