Reshuffles, blended learning and funding lotteries

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Although we have a new Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education (Kit Malthouse), in the Cabinet reshuffle, it looks as if Andrea Jenkyns, just reappointed to the Department for Education, has been retained as Minister for Higher Education. The Guardian has an interesting article on the churn in secretaries of state for education this year and Wonkhe has a profile in its own style of Kit Malthouse.


Jisc has published the results of a digital experience survey, which shows that respondents narrowly preferred blended to in-person learning (45%/42%). They survey also showed, however, that online learning environments only made 28% of students feel that they belonged to a community.


The British Academy has announced the trial of a “research lottery”: applications to its small grants scheme will be tested to ensure they meet a quality threshold and then selected at random for funding.

Access and participation

A record proportion of new students at Cambridge University this year are from state school backgrounds – 72.5%, up from 71.6% last year.

Higher Education Funding

Professor Steve West, President of Universities UK, has called for a national conversation to help find a long-term funding solution for higher education. Meanwhile, THE says that the Labour Party is close to announcing its own higher education funding policy for England.

At the end of last week, UKRI announced that, in 2022/23 it was increasing its minimum student stipend for postgraduate research students by £2,000 on the rate for 2021/22.


OfS has published an initial set of revised KPIs, based around the three strategic themes of quality and standards; equality of opportunity; and enabling regulation.

Free speech and academic freedom

The Commons Education Select Committee’s inquiry into free speech and academic freedom has held another evidence session, with witnesses from the Universities of Manchester, Sussex and Essex and the OfS. You can watch the session here.

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