Weekly Digest 20.10.2022

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OfS updates

The “balance” of online and in-person teaching is not a “key [determinant] of teaching quality”, according to an Office for Students (OfS) commissioned review of blended learning.  OfS has published a report responding to the review which sets out how different approaches to blended learning relates to their regulatory requirements.

OfS has published a set of new operational measures which will report on the performance of their core regulatory activity.

Finance and funding

Graduate salaries are on average down 7.3 per cent in real terms, according to new research from the Institute of Student Employers into the graduate labour market.

The Leverhulme Trust has made £1 million available for researchers at risk across the world who are currently supported by The British Academy’s Researchers at Risk programme or through the Council for At-Risk Academics. As part of the announcement, The British Academy’s chief executive Hetan Shah noted that 87 Ukrainian researchers have so far been placed at universities across the UK.

The Guardian covers the announcement by rapper AJ Tracey of a new fund to support young black students to study at University of Oxford.


The International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS) has launched a new initiative named More than Our Rank, encouraging providers to highlight the contributions they make which are not reflected in league tables and university rankings.

Student Welfare

Wonkhe and Pearson launch a report into belonging at university, the culmination of a year-long research project.  The report maps out the common themes that build a sense of belonging – connections, support, inclusion, and autonomy, with a list of recommended actions institutions can take to foster a sense of belonging among students.

More than four-fifths of UK students have been affected by mental health difficulties, a survey suggests.  THE reports.

THE talks to Evelyn Welch, the new vice-chancellor of the University of Bristol, on slavery, preventing student suicides, and lessons for academia from her pop star daughter.

The BBC reports on hundreds of University of Lincoln students being forced to move out of their university accommodation due to fire concerns.  The BBC also covers a student accommodation block in Glasgow that has been without water for nearly a week and The Metro has a story about students at the University of Oxford who are staging a rent strike after finding cockroaches in kitchens and bedrooms.

Industrial action

Staff at Falmouth University will go on strike in opposition to the introduction of a “two-tier workforce”, which has seen new academic staff employed on “worse terms and conditions”.

International students

Universities UK called for home secretary Suella Braverman to retract her comments on reducing international student numbers.  Jim Dickinson, Associate Editor at Wonkhe, questions whether cutting international student numbers would be a “hammer blow” to the economy.

The British Council has released a report on the value of transnational education. The report focuses on countries “crucial to the UK in terms of TNE”, including Egypt, Nigeria and Vietnam.  Respondents broadly agreed that TNE widens access to education for underrepresented groups and contributes to better gender balance.

International news

Time Higher Education (THE) explores how student reporters in the US are playing a growing role in keeping afloat regional journalism by taking over the stories that cub reporters once covered.  With the finances of local media looking increasingly untenable, some argue that the intervention of student reporters may be the only way to keep these pillars of the community going.

People news

UCAS has announced three new appointments to its board of trustees, including former Universities UK chief executive Alistair Jarvis, as well as two new advisory council members.

Former OfS chair Michael Barber has been appointed as chair of Nord Anglia University.

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