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Ministers may move university applications to after A-level results

The education secretary is planning a radical overhaul of England’s university admissions system, with students applying after A-level results and the start of the academic year possibly being moved to January, the Guardian has learned. Civil servants at the Department for Education (DfE), under Gavin Williamson, have modelled a shift to post-qualification admissions to improve…

Thousands of A-level students could lose their unconditional university offers

Thousands of A-level students could have their unconditional university offers withdrawn this summer, as ministers and the higher education regulator try to crack down on panic offers made during the pandemic. Sources at Westminster say the universities minister, Michelle Donelan, is determined to constrain universities, after private government data showed that 30,000 offers that had…

Government refuses multi-billion pound bailout for universities

Universities’ hopes of a long-term government bailout in England have been dashed, though £2.6bn in tuition fees will be paid early and ministers pledged to allow full fees to be charged even if students were unable to return to lecture theatres. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said institutions could continue to charge the full £9,250…

The Guardian view on universities: a bailout is in all our...

There is no reason why Britain’s universities should suffer permanent damage as a result of coronavirus. But, like many other institutions, they will need support in order to avoid it. The immediate issue is the present. The deaths from Covid-19 of people such as Ade Raymond, who was studying for a nursing degree at Middlesex…

MPs call for grants to help students in difficulty

MPs with university constituencies are calling on the government to set up emergency maintenance grants for students from low-income backgrounds who are in financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic. They are part of a cross-party campaign seeking to alert the chancellor to the students’ plight and calling on him to offer financial support…

Ministers split over bailout package for universities

Ministers are split over a bailout package for universities, as vice-chancellors warn of bankruptcies in the Midlands and north of England and new figures reinforce fears that international students will avoid the UK during the coronavirus outbreak. Discussions over extra support are said to have run into an impasse between the Treasury, led by the…

Giving up EU Erasmus plan would ‘blow a hole’ in UK...

Quitting the EU’s Erasmus student exchange programme would “blow a hole” in the UK’s economy, taking away income of £243m a year and depriving 17,000 British young people of valuable work experience, according to a group of education and business leaders. The group, including further education colleges and universities, is calling for the British government…

Back-door cuts to university locations might provoke ‘clash of the classes’

Government plans to cap student numbers just as the UK faces an explosion in the number of 18-year-olds would be the “death knell” for social mobility, academic experts warn. More than half of young people are now going into higher education, but senior academics believe that with the Treasury anxious to rein in spiralling student…

Alarm at Ofsted-style strategy to rank universities by graduate revenues

Government plans to introduce Ofsted-style rankings for universities, with courses that produce lower salaries labelled as failing, would punish institutions outside London and threaten arts and humanities courses, worried academics are warning. In November the Conservative manifesto set off alarm bells in universities by promising to tackle “low-quality courses”. Now senior academics close to Westminster…

The tuition costs generation is discovering its voice in parliament|Gaby Hinsliff

It has taken a surprisingly long time for the chickens to come home to roost. But watching Zarah Sultana, the 26-year-old new Labour MP for Coventry South, waving her student debt bill at ministers over the despatch box last week was a decisive moment in the henhouse all the same. How, she raged, was it…

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