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Keir Starmer has to abandon Corbyn’s promise on student fees |...

As he makes his first leader’s speech in the unusual context of an online Labour party conference, Keir Starmer’s position is rock solid. Since his election, the party has pulled almost level with the Conservatives in the polls, and more Britons think he would make a better prime minister than Boris Johnson. He has had…

Town v gown tensions rise over threat of Covid infection rate...

Fears of a growing “town v gown” divide have been sparked by a new poll showing the majority of residents in university towns do not want students to return because their arrival could trigger fresh local lockdowns. A survey, carried out by the University and College Union (UCU) and shared with the Observer, shows only…

Students have been sold the lie they are able to have...

With a new term already under way in many universities, the higher education sector has never felt more beleaguered – and most of the blame for its current state of disarray lies with the government. In the past few weeks the Department for Education has amassed a staggering charge sheet: the exam results fiasco; trying…

‘They see us as heavy-drinking nuisances’: students face Covid marshals

Dancing, drinking and flirting at wild parties will be firmly off the student timetable this term – even for those tempted to attend an illegal event. Universities are paying for “Covid marshals” to break up mass gatherings and stop undergraduates flouting pandemic rules. In Newcastle, police will carry out “high visibility” patrols in student hubs…

UK universities predict record student dropout rate

Record numbers of young people in the UK are starting a university course this autumn, with many anxious to escape a collapsing employment market. But as students embark on a very different university experience, vice-chancellors are worried that many may not last the year. Universities are reporting unprecedented pressure on their student hardship funds, after…

Disadvantaged students narrow GCSE attainment gap in England

Disadvantaged students in England improved their results at GCSE this summer, narrowing the attainment gap with their peers, according to an analysis. After summer exams were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were fears that disadvantaged students could lose out from results based on teacher assessments because of the risk of bias. Research by…

Women gain more than men from master’s degrees, finds IFS

Women get the greatest financial benefits from taking postgraduate degrees, although their pay levels still lag well behind those of men with master’s degrees and doctorates, according to research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The study of people who took master’s degrees earlier in their career found that – compared with similar individuals…

Britain’s universities have been abandoned to fight Covid-19 alone | Glen...

Universities usually welcome everyone to the new academic year with a big smile, amid genuinely upbeat talk of “challenges” and “opportunities”. It’s still like that this year, but the smile has something of a manic rictus to it, and the talk is based on every single finger and toe being crossed by every single vice…

Fears of ‘crazy’ freshers’ parties in UK as cooped up students...

Universities in the UK have spent the summer struggling to create socially distanced timetables and make their campuses Covid-safe. But as many thousands of students start to arrive this month, vice-chancellors admit they now face a much bigger challenge: can they persuade young people who feel they have been “locked away” for too long not…

New Covid plan for England could confine university students to halls

University students in England could be confined to their halls of residence and barred from going to their family homes in the event of local coronavirus outbreaks, according to new guidance issued by the Department for Education. The DfE’s guidelines call for universities to take a host of measures to combat the spread of the…

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