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Vice-chancellors still go to pay conferences regardless of protest

Universities have stopped vice-chancellors from voting on the committees that set their pay following last year’s outcry over rising salaries but many university leaders have clung to the right to attend the meetings, it has been revealed. Freedom of information requests by the University and College Union (UCU) found that just nine universities said they…

David Lammy states England is stopping working those who do not...

England’s education system is failing young people who don’t go to university because there are too few quality routes for vocational education, says David Lammy, a Labour MP. “If you are academic, [England] is still one of the best countries in which to be born, particularly if you’re born into a middle-class family and your…

‘The tasks aren’t there’: why graduates are leaving northern towns

Universities regenerate their local areas by employing residents, bringing in students, developing research that benefits the public, and supporting local business. This boosts local economies everywhere, but it really matters in the post-industrial towns and cities of the north of England, where austerity cuts have fallen hardest and one in four people earn below the…

‘It’s a harmful time’: can UK and United States universities endure...

Vice-chancellors in Britain are united in the view that this is the most challenging time to run a university in modern history. They are fighting to limit the damage of Brexit, which they fear will hit their recruitment and retention of great staff and students, crush vital research collaboration, and remove billions of pounds of…

Are PhDs simply low-cost labour for universities?

When Karin Bodewits started her PhD in molecular biology at the University of Edinburgh, she felt “excited and privileged, brimming with hope”. Over the following four years, her enthusiasm waned. “That seems like another person in another life,” she recalls. “I saw a world where unreachable glory was the goal and desperation the order of…

Do universities contribute enough to the UK economy?

For Prof Dan Parsons, director of the energy and environment institute at Hull University, being based in one of the windiest areas in Britain is a major bonus. It’s where he’s set up a wind farm cluster called Aura, named after the Greek deity who could run as fast as the wind. He’s doubly fortunate…

‘Google isn’t thinking about degrees’: is the UK snobby about technical...

The prime minister’s review of post-18 education, set to report next month, is expected to recommend ways of encouraging young people to consider vocational training routes when they leave school. This will be no small task. In Germany the so-called dual training route, where young people spend a third of their time in college and…

‘Universities mark out imagination’: are graduates prepared for work?

A few numbers are enough to sum up how far the world of work is changing. More than six million workers fear their jobs could be replaced by machines in the next 10 years. Around 1.1 million people now work in the gig economy, using online platforms to find small, often on-demand, jobs. And a…

‘The earlier you go home the much better’: is this the...

With universities in the UK facing significant threats to their finances, international students and their higher fees are likely to be more important than ever. The prime minister’s review of post-18 education is widely expected to recommend a cut to home tuition fees next month. Meanwhile, vice-chancellors are braced for a major blow from Brexit,…

How do universities prepare graduates for tasks that do not yet...

Universities determine the future: they shape it through their research and prepare students for tomorrow’s jobs. But in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, it’s hard to know what the future will look like. Technological changes such as automation and artificial intelligence are expected to transform the employment landscape. The question is: will our…

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