Research bureaucracy, consultations and more strike action

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Quality and Regulation

The OfS published the results of consultations on regulating student outcomes and refreshing the TEF. Following an extensive consultation process involving students and the HE sector, the OfS has decided to implement proposals that will allow regulatory action to be taken where too many students drop out or do not go on to professional employment or further study after graduation. Beyond these minimum expectations, universities and colleges will be able to seek recognition for the excellence of their courses through participation in the TEF.


The Independent Review of Research Bureaucracy led by Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Birmingham, released a report earlier this week. Wonkhe reflects on the findings.

REF impact rules were under the spotlight again with questions being asked over whether institutions should receive funding when the academics who produced the work have left the institution. THE reports on the thoughts of Rosa Freedman, professor of law, conflict and global development at the University of Reading, on this topic.


Advance HE announced earlier this week the appointment of Melody Stephen and Miguel Gonzales-Valdes Tejero – two students from the University of Manchester - to their Governance Strategic Advisory Group. Advance HE hope that with their appointment, they can bring complementary perspectives from one of the UK’s largest institutions together and add invaluable insight to the SAG.

UUK published sector guidance developed to increase understanding around when it is appropriate to share personal data when managing harassment complaints. Recommendations include moving away from ‘blanket policies to either always refuse or always allow the sharing of personal data in harassment complaints, investigations and disciplinary proceedings, so that each case can be handled appropriately on its specific facts’. Advance HE shares the headline guidance and recommendations at a glance and considers what this could mean for HE governance.


The UK and India have signed an agreement to recognise each other’s HE qualifications in a move welcomed by British universities. The Memorandum of Understanding, part of the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, means A-levels and their equivalents, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees will now be recognised in India. It will allow Indian students who graduate from British universities to apply for postgraduate qualifications, or embark on government careers that require university qualifications, when they return home.


The Academic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Bloomsbury Institute London, Dr Nandini Canoo, shares her recommendations via Advance HE on how to help international students successfully integrate into UK HE.

As part of its Collaborative Development Fund 2021-22 project, Inclusive institutions: enabling and supporting culture change, Advance HE published a new report this week providing an evidence base of potential solutions, lessons learned and recommendations to inform future work.


On Thursday, the OfS opened its consultation on proposed changes to the NSS following a two phase review. Wonkhe considers what is next for NSS.

Pay and Pensions

In response to the recent publication of USS accounts, UCU General Secretary, Jo Grady, criticised the Scheme’s decision to award a £100k bonus to its Chief Executive in light of ongoing strike action due to cuts and the cost of living crisis.

A strike ballot opened on 22 July for Unison members to vote on whether to take strike action over pay after more than four in five workers turned down the 3 per cent pay increase offer made by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association back in May.

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