The Autumn statement saw better-than-expected news for universities with a re-commitment to the UK spending £20 billion on research by 2024. The Government press release was published a couple of days ago. Wonkhe explores other developments arising from the Statement but suggests that there was little support for students in it.
The Government has committed nearly half a billion pounds for UK research to cover the EU shortfall. The THE reports on this release of £484 million to mitigate Horizon ‘uncertainty’. Some £280 million of the new funds will be distributed by UKRI.
The House of Commons Library has published a briefing on the progress of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill. The briefing analyses the progress of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill. The Bill has passed the House of Commons and its second reading and committee stage in the House of Lords. Wonkhe discusses the three remaining issues with the Bill.
Thursday and Friday this week will see strike action at up to 150 UK universities – with action short of a strike (covering working to contract and not covering for absent colleagues) starting today. The University and College Union (UCU) has secured a nationwide (aggregated) mandate for action covering Universities Superannuation Scheme pensions, pay, and employment conditions – bringing in many institutions that have not been involved in previous rounds of action. Cleaners, security guards and catering staff, members of Unison will take part in industrial action over pay this week at some universities.
The University of Aberdeen’s principal, George Boyne, has just begun his stint as the chair of the UK’s Universities and Colleges Employers Association (Ucea), the pay-setting body.
The gender pay gap means women in UK higher education will effectively work the rest of the year for free, figures from the THE analysis suggest, earning almost £4,000 less than men on average.
TASO (Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education) has released new research into reducing ethnicity degree awarding gaps through curriculum reform, based on evaluation of two interventions at English universities – the first an initiative to make curricula more inclusive through measures such as diversifying reading lists, the second a staff toolkit giving guidance on inclusive practice.
A London School of Economics academic has accused a prestigious history journal of prioritising “identity politics” over intellectual quality, claiming he was told that a proposed special issue would not go ahead unless it featured a female contributor, reports the THE.
Advance HE has published a literature review on internationalisation in higher education, exploring student outcomes and experiences of internationalisation initiatives. The authors argue that more work is needed on how such initiatives impact students, and that inclusion should be at the heart of universities’ internationalisation strategies.
Leading institutions are not ‘lining their pockets’ by shifting recruitment to international students, says analysis, and the situation for less prestigious campuses is even worse, reports the THE. Elsewhere in the publication the proposal to restrict UK post-study visas is explored.
The Office for Students (OfS) published further information about the areas it will prioritise to select courses and higher education providers for assessment of student outcomes in relation to its revised condition B3. Courses in law, psychology and sport have been chosen alongside computing and business degrees as subjects that the Office for Students will prioritise.
Student housing Glasgow's Students’ Representative Council has a new campaign calling for a cap on student numbers while accommodation for students is secured, whilst Wonkhe reviews the controversy surrounding the call.
Some UK universities have begun handing students one-off cash payments to get them through the winter.
Student loan interest rates in England and Wales will return to the market rate from 1 March 2023, DfE has announced. This is predicted to be 7.3 per cent, and the measure will be in effect until 31 August.
Stirling University SU has voted to go 100% vegan.