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A policy of conscious underfunding-hepi Blog

MEG Colleges in London -a worthwhile read.

This blog has been kindly contributed by Dr Diana Beech, Chief Executive Officer of London Higher – the umbrella body for over 40 universities and higher education colleges across LondonYou can find Diana on Twitter @dianajbeech.

Should the Government proceed with plans to cut the London Weighting element of the grant funding given to universities and colleges across the capital to help cover their higher costs of operating, this will be the first time that Westminster enacts a policy that consciously underfunds and penalises London. Given the levelling-up agenda, it will also likely not be the last.

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OfS calls for improved support for students who’ve been in care

A guarantee of year-round accommodation, tailored pastoral support and admissions which take into account applicants’ experiences are among the steps that universities and colleges could put in place to help improve support for students who have been in care, the Office for Students (OfS) has said.

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Alert: Further targeted ransomware attacks on the UK education sector by cyber criminals

The NCSC is responding to further targeted ransomware attacks on the education sector by cyber criminals. Since late February 2021, an increased  number of ransomware attacks have affected education establishments in the UK, including schools, colleges and universitiesThe NCSC urges all organisations to follow our guidance on ‘Mitigating  malware and ransomware. This details  a number of steps organisations can take to disrupt ransomware attack vectors and enable effective recovery from ransomware attacks.

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SMF REPORT HIGHLIGHTS ‘EXCESSIVELY AGGRESSIVE COMPETITION BETWEEN UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES’

Many thanks to the excellent newsletter written by Alan Birks for Click for this posting

In the not too distant past, FE and HE co-operated with each other to increase and widen participation in HE. However, a report published on 17 March by the Social Market Foundation (see here) says that this cooperation has now been replaced by aggressive competition. The report says that a combination of the lifting of caps on student numbers and higher fees, means that universities have been incentivised to maximise their income from fees and deliver courses themselves, rather than subcontract out some of the provision to FE colleges. Universities have also moved into areas traditionally considered to be the territory of FE colleges, including not only courses at Level 4 and 5, such as HNC/Ds and vocational foundation degrees, but also higher and advanced apprenticeships, and even some vocational courses at Level 3. The report concludes that colleges are the losers, saying ‘It is hard to envisage fair competition occurring between universities and FE colleges in their present form, given the scale and financial advantages universities currently enjoy, with higher per student funding, greater financial capacity to invest and more immediate rewards for expansion, while at the same time, colleges have been squeezed by significant year-on-year cuts in funding for their core activities’.

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