International Women’s Day
Tuesday saw the celebration of International Women’s Day. This was marked by a programme of events across the University, including online talks, panel discussions, workshops, seminars, reading clubs and lists, and poster displays.
Times Higher Education published its data-led report Gender Equality: How global universities are performing, which examines whether higher education is setting a leading example for other industries. It also published its annual list of the world’s top universities led by women which revealed that the share of female vice-chancellors in the World University Rankings top 200 has surpassed 20% for the first time.
This week UCU announced that it will open new industrial action ballots over cuts to pensions and deteriorating pay and conditions, paving the way for action to continue throughout the remainder of 2022. The new ballots, which will be for strike action and action short of strike, will be run in both of the union’s ongoing disputes: pensions, and pay and working conditions.
On Monday Universities UK launched a new Fair Admissions Code of Practice – a set of self-regulatory principles and illustrative examples of behaviours based on the findings of 2020’s Fair Admissions Review. All UUK board members have signed up to the code and, though it is a voluntary scheme, it is expected that other UUK and GuildHE members will also become signatories.
On Wednesday the National Audit Office published its report on regulating the financial sustainability of higher education providers in England. The report focuses on the OfS’ responsibilities to protect student interests from the consequences of financial risk in higher education providers. Recommendations from the NAO include that the DfE should ‘make clear what tolerance the government has for provider failure, and the circumstances under which it would or would not intervene’ and that the OfS should ‘communicate more effectively with the sector to build trust in its approach as a regulator’. More coverage of the report is available at THE. You can also read OfS’ response to the report on their website.
At the end of January we reported that QAA had published the headline findings of its research into how the shift to digital and hybrid teaching and assessment during the pandemic had impacted student engagement, contribution and achievement. The full report has now been released; Wonkhe has an article taking you through the findings.
OfS has updated its statement of expectations for higher education providers regarding harassment and sexual misconduct and, alongside this, has published a student guide to tackling harassment, hate and sexual misconduct which includes what students should expect from their university or college, what to do if those expectations are not met, and where they can access help and support.