From Sustainability to Drink Spiking

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Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi delivered a speech at the Natural History Museum to mark the launch of the Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy.  THE research found that institutions from over 100 countries offer dedicated courses on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  The NUS is backing a new campaign calling for universities to stop advertising careers in the fossil fuel industry to students.

Ukraine Situation

OfS today announced the distribution of £4 million to English higher education providers to support Ukrainian students facing hardship.  The European Universities Association has published a briefing on how the Russian invasion of Ukraine has impacted the Ukrainian higher education sector.  

The return of war to Europe has prompted countries across the continent to look again at how to defend themselves.  The likely expansion in the resources available for military research has reopened old debates over how war should be studied and whether the goal of such work should be to assist armies or bring about peace, as discussed in THE.


THE reports that according to a conservative thinktank, the UK needs a new centre for the study of extremism to better understand radical ideologies because academia is not doing enough to analyse the problem.

HE policy

Following last week’s controversial report on higher education expansion from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Wonkhe suggests that the proposals offer smart ideas to tackle inequality and productivity challenges. One of the authors of the report explains raising participation rates as a key means to ensure national economic success.

Industrial Action

UCU announces marking boycott and 10 days of strikes over pay with exact dates for action yet to be set, as commented on in THE.  In the House of Commons higher and further education minister Michelle Donelan responded to a written question on the topic.

Following the latest Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) meeting, UCU, Educational Institute of Scotland, GMB, Unison, and Unite, have published a letter criticising the offers put forward by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

Parliamentary affairs

The carry-over motion for The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill was agreed on 25 April. The Bill will put a duty on universities to promote free speech and academic freedom, not just protect it.  Speaking at a Policy Exchange event, Minister Michelle Donelan set out the government's vision for the Bill.

Student Issues


One in 14 students who took online tests monitored by ProctorU last year were caught breaking the rules states THE. Some UK universities are planning a switch back to in-person assessment this summer, but the THE found that others are keeping examinations largely online.  An article on preparing students for the world of work, suggests that courses need to resource fewer, more targeted assessments.

Drink Spiking

A new report from the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee inquiry into spiking, which notes that 81 percent of reported spiking victims are students, sets out recommendations including making spiking a specific criminal offence, and research into the motivation of perpetrators.  These recommendations are reviewed in Wonkhe.  An alternative view is posed with a suggestion that calls for increased security to tackle incidents of spiking are misguided, ineffective, and could have serious repercussions on some students.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Minimum eligibility requirements (MER) for student finance, as currently out for consultation, would have a disproportionate impact on those already under-represented in higher education, and could lead to skills shortages by reducing the number of students entering socially valuable low salary occupations. Those are the conclusions drawn in a new briefing note from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).  Wonkhe comments that MER would not enhance levelling up or productivity.

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