The newsroom blog

Trying to forecast the future of higher education tends to leave heads spinning, but new analysis from the OECD’s data guru brings some trends into focus

16 March

A funding clawback provoked fury from UK scientists, but now all eyes are on a political breakthrough that could reopen the door to Horizon Europe

2 March

The UK prime minister has invested political capital in science and innovation. It is vital that it is not wasted on ill-considered populist ideas about research

16 February

As institutions embedded within cities and regions, universities can be the catalysts for local action to address national and global problems

2 February

After a tumultuous 2022, what will the new year bring for higher education? Some of the UK sector’s respected crystal-ball gazers offer their predictions for 2023

5 January

Twitter has long been bedevilled by bad-faith debate. But government must be held to a higher standard, even when it is flying a kite

8 December

The array of challenges facing universities and their leaders is daunting, with a broken funding system underpinning the pain in England

24 November

Our work-life balance survey finds the inevitable: that for many if not most in academia, workloads are unmanageable, and seem to be getting worse

10 November

International students add hugely to the richness of universities. But are the risks of relying on their fees to subsidise so much fully understood?

29 September

From threats to the humanities to the future of universities themselves, the risks of misunderstanding what to value seem to be growing

1 September

The bumper increase in QR funding for England may sound like heaven. But with doubts over the future of Horizon, UK research is stuck in purgatory

21 July

Precarity is a debilitating condition that often proves fatal to research careers. And it affects even the most lauded research groups

7 July

Universities are too often used for political point-scoring. Finding a way to implement and protect long-term plans for the sector would benefit all

23 June

The pursuit of truth is at the heart of academia. But public perception is also crucial if universities are to sustain themselves – and fiction can help

9 June

The REF may no longer be the only game in town, but it remains a dominant force in UK research. So as the REF 2021 results are released, is it still fit for purpose?

12 May

While those new to commercialising research often obsess about owning IP, seasoned unicorn breeders find a more relaxed approach is most effective

28 April

War has helped to fan inflation and wither universities’ resources. With scant prospect of let-up, all eyes are watching the horizon for hopeful signs

14 April

With the future of globalisation in question, are long-debated divisions over institutional autonomy and academic freedom inching closer to reality?

25 March

The latest cataclysm is a reminder that certainties about the world, and even about international research collaboration, aren’t certain after all

17 March

Higher education systems that are free to evolve have improved and adapted as times change, but more are seeing ministers determined to set the course

17 February

Higher inflation is set to challenge higher education everywhere, and all but the well-endowed elite will feel the bite and face difficult choices

3 February

Universities are autonomous in principle but their financial reliance on the state means conflict is inevitable – and suppression is a very real threat

20 January

Higher education looks to be beset by any number of challenges in 2022, not least more Covid disruption. Resilience may again be the year’s watchword

6 January

After a second year of social distancing, how strong are the ties that bind us together and what is it that makes us a community, in society and HE?

23 December

As competition for international students grows more intense and complex, the traditional anglophone giants face a host of new challenges

9 December

How can academics be free to speak out and enquire when the principles of robust open debate are under attack from without and within?

11 November

With funding crunch time looming, some UK policymakers seem set on limiting education opportunities while advocating their benefits to society

14 October

Some would argue that there are too many international students but it’s a problem many universities would like to have, for financial and other reasons

30 September

Online teaching, freedom of speech and minimum entry requirements are all caught in the strange disconnect between government and universities

16 September

The humanities can seem to struggle in our science-dominated world, but even a utilitarian view must hold them as foundational to a decent society

19 August

Student satisfaction fell as the pandemic disrupted campus life, and while assessment wasn’t singled out, it’s worth assessing how fit it is for the future

22 July

We must challenge carping about the bottom-line worth of university study by reiterating that other paths’ pay-offs in no way denigrate a degree’s value

24 June

It may feel as if the media is out to get universities. But a positive, pragmatic relationship is possible – and vital to public trust

27 May

Integrating local, national and global interests could be key to aligning the many competing social and environmental agendas in this era of upheaval

13 May

The HE policy debate may shift, but in England the idea that we might be over-educating is always lurking – it’s a hydra that needs decapitating again

18 March

Academics might have scrambled to adjust to online teaching but their expertise has taken flight and merits a global platform to share it

4 February

The pandemic has hit university finances, and further challenges lie ahead. But the case for supporting higher education and research is overwhelming

10 December