Weekly Digest

Posted in: Uncategorised


The broad framework within which the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) will work was published. During the passage of the ARIA bill, one of the major selling points of the new agency was that it is free of the usual research bureaucracy. As far as possible, the idea is that researchers will be given money to pursue the projects that are interesting to them without the approvals, form filling, or the external scrutiny that comes with mainstream research programmes, discussed on Wonkhe.

The UK government has been accused of reversing pledges to protect research spending, after £1.6 billion of unused funds earmarked for association to the European Union’s research programme was returned to the Treasury.  The BBC covers the story.

UK universities have rejected a proposed new publishing deal with Springer Nature, claiming that the publisher’s latest offer “did not meet sector requirements”.


The government has announced that Angela McLean is to be the government's next Chief Scientific Adviser. The BBC has her profile - the first women to hold the role.

In the House of Commons, skills minister Robert Halfon answered a question on conversations between the Department for Education and Office for Students about hardship funds.

Industrial action

Walk outs planned at UK universities have been suspended for at least the next two weeks after all sides reported significant progress in the long running disputes over pay, pensions and working conditions.  The “period of calm” is discussed by Wonkhe.  However, this has been branded “undemocratic” by some members of the University and College Union, who say employers’ offer of more talks was not sufficient to justify the decision.

Equality and widening participation

A rising number of universities have been placed in the Stonewall UK’s top 100 most LGBTQ+-inclusive employers.

While reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities are a legal requirement, an evidence review from TASO (Centre for Transforming Access and Students Outcomes in Higher Education) has found no definitive causal link between adjustments and success in higher education, despite plenty of suggestive correlation.

Student experience

A Wonkhe study looks at the potential of AI in the age of competence based higher education.

Following last week’s revelation that only one in 20 study participants were getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, a Singapore study has found that having too many early-morning classes ‘drags down student grades’.

Staff Issues

Detailed open data tables about staff employed at higher education (HE) providers in the UK for the academic year 2021 to 2022 have been published by HESA.  The data reveals that there are 45 Black female professors in the UK higher education sector, up from a reported 40 last year (the figures are rounded to the nearest 5). Similarly the number of Black male professors has risen from an indicated 120 to an indicated 125.

A university professor from the University of Bristol falsely accused of Islamophobia said the experience had been "terrifying".

Posted in: Uncategorised


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response