OfS Funding Announced and Student Wellbeing

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OfS has published updated equality, diversity and student characteristics data, which look at the proportion and numbers of students in higher education from a range of different demographic groups.

NERC has issued a diversity and inclusion ‘living’ action plan, to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in underrepresented groups in the environmental science research community.  Here is an initiative to help make the voices of marginalised groups struggling to build careers in science heard.

OfS Funding

OfS announced £1.4 billion funding for higher education, to help deliver high-cost subjects, for world-leading specialist providers and to support students from Ukraine.


Updated rules for the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) were published by Research England, confirming the changes that will be implemented to the KEF as it evolves to its second iteration; discussed on Wonkhe.


Wonkhe suggests that Governors need to be comfortable using the language and terminology of sustainability, climate breakdown and environmental justice to hold institutions accountable.

There appears to be little back up for universities from government over efforts to tackle climate change.  Meanwhile, education for sustainable development can extend into every academic subject to prepare students for the future they will face.

Student wellbeing

The Student Academic Experience Survey 2022 shows the expectations, perceptions and experiences of full-time undergraduate students in higher education.  The BBC coverage has focused on the loneliness of university students and post-pandemic learning and teaching is covered in this Wonkhe article.

A global survey conducted by THE finds far fewer students turning up and engaging in lectures and seminars.

Wonkhe explores how universities can support students through the cost of living crisis.

The Office for National Statistics published updated estimates of student suicides for 2016/17 to 2019/20; in the most recent year the rate was 3 student suicides per 100,000 students – the lowest rate observed in four years.  A bereaved family suggests that helping students with mental health issues is not just about funding counsellors and support services but also about reforming practices that may be discriminatory.

Freedom of Speech Bill

The Secretary of State for Education has tabled an amendment to the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, which would place restrictions on partnerships between universities and overseas organisations to deliver foreign language, culture, exchange programmes, or courses - requiring such arrangements to be reported to the Office for Students, and giving the regulator the ability to require that partnerships with organisations of concern are terminated.

One university has revised its policy on harassment under legal pressure from the Free Speech Union, raising the prospect of more legal actions against institutions if England’s free speech bill becomes law.

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