Good morning. Part time HE is back on the agenda today as influential Conservative think tank Bright Blue has published a new report on the issue. We might get to see the interim Nurse Review this week, the Green Paper analysis continues and look out for HEFCE's analysis of responses to its quality assessment consultation - that's likely to appear this week sometime. On Friday, Wonkhe celebrates our first proper birthday.
Part Time Matters
Despite being largely absent from the Green Paper, part time HE is back on the agenda this morning. The Conservative think tank Bright Blue has a new report out today which assesses the reasons for the recent decline in part time study. The report also proposes some active new solutions: a lifetime tuition fee account and a graduate levy on employers. It is highly significant that a Conservative think tank is proposing these measures - as the recommendations come a little over a week before the Spending Review announcements and the Autumn Statement. Given Bright Blue's influence and status, the report is likely to be taken seriously by the Government and with Conservative policymakers. Last week, in an answer to a written question, Jo Johnson revealed that the estimated RAB charge (write-off cost) for part time HE was now at 40% - a dramatic drop from the earlier figure given of 65% and much lower than full time study which is thought to be somewhere around 50%. Perhaps this is a tacit admission that part time HE is a good investment for the Government? Could all of this point to some action on part time HE in next week's Spending Review or Autumn Statement? Watch this space closely. In the mean-time on the site today, Bright Blue's report authors James Dobson and Ryan Shorthouse set out the case for their policy proposals.
Nurse might see us now
Sir Paul Nurse (17, Wonkhe 2015 Power List) President of the Royal Society and Chief Executive of the Francis Crick Institute has been commissioned by the Government to conduct a review of research councils and after months of wrangling his interim report is now imminent. We think it might appear this Thursday, although this is unconfirmed, and any number of factors could blow it off course. The report will be the next piece of the emerging funding and regulatory jigsaw, following the Green Paper and coming ahead of the Spending Review. In case you missed it, James Wilsdon set out the context for Nurse and the Green Paper in his blog over here on Green Paper day. Despite earlier speculation that Nurse was going to hand the Government a plan to consolidate the research councils in to a single body, it seems he may ultimately defend the current model of multiple councils - adding on top a newly-constituted Science and Technology Committee. However, many critical factors remain unknown - how powerful this new committee will be, if it will have a budget, what authority it will have to direct research, who will chair it and how 'political' it will be, and how it will report to government. With the Office for Students not expected to run the REF or distribute QR funding, we are left wondering where that side of the dual support system should end up. If the interim report does land this week, then expect the wrangling to carry on furiously on all these points for several months (if not years).
Green Paper debate continues
The analysis of the Green Paper and its context continues on the site:
CETLs and the ghosts of teaching excellence past - David Kernohan returns to the Centres for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (the last major government-led initiative to improve teaching excellence) and asks what went wrong with that scheme?
Six questions about the Green Paper and regulation - HE regulation expert Andrew Boggs asks further important questions about the Green Paper's proposals which haven't yet been widely covered.
How should academics respond to the TEF? That is the question posed by historian Adam Smith as he argues for a constructive approach.
The closer you look, the less you see - Mark Leach on some outstanding questions on the Green Paper and the Government's plans for the tuition fee cap.
Students at the heart of the system: the Swedish approach - Registrarism looks a how the Swedish Government and HE sector thinks about students.
Shape the future of Wonkhe
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Happy birthday (to us)
Although Wonkhe has now been around in some form for five years, Friday will mark one year since we rebuilt and relaunched the site and the organisation that publishes it. From REF results to the General Election, the HE Power List to the Green Paper, and much more besides, it's been a huge year for us and the whole sector. The love and effort put in to bringing you Wonkhe is repaid a thousand times over by the engagement of the most interesting, curious and talented community of readers and collaborators any site could hope for. And, of course, a very special thanks go to our amazing partners to date: Minerva, Shakespeare Martineau, Capita, Unite, GuildHE, University of Lincoln, University of Exeter, BPP University and Birkbeck. Without their support, quite simply, there would be no Wonkhe. So if you like what we do, please thank them. If you'd like to know how to support us and hear what we can do for you or your organisation, please get in touch.
Let me know what I missed or what else you'd like to see in the Monday Morning Briefing. Have a great week.
The rest of the week's HE agenda
Monday 16th November
REPORT: Bright Blue report on Part Time HE
EVENT: ARMA Managing in All Directions webinar
PARLIAMENTARY: November Recess - House Returns
Tuesday 17th November
EVENT: Inside GovDelivering Effective, Engaging Degree Apprenticeships, London
EVENT: Association of Colleges (AoC) Conference, Birmingham (Until 19th)
PARLIAMENTARY: Commons BIS Committee session on HE quality assurance
REPORT: HEFCE characteristics of high performing research units
Wednesday 18th November
EVENT: Westminster Briefing Learning Technologies in FE conference, Manchester
EVENT: ARMA European Funding workshop, Leeds
EVENT: AHUA London Regional Meeting
EVENT: PHExcel Striving for Excellence in Higher Education conference, London
REPORT: HEFCE analysis of responses to quality assessment consultation (possible)
Thursday 19th November
REPORT: Interim Nurse Review of Research Councils (possible)
EVENT: CASE and UUK Public Affairs in HE Forum, London
EVENT: ARMA Advocacy in Open Access webinar
EVENT: Inside Government Attracting Quality in HE forum, London
EVENT: UCEA Grievance and disciplinary investigations
EVENT: Westminster Briefing: GPA and the Future of Degree Classification, Manchester
EVENT: LFHE GDP: Making Governance Work conference, London
EVENT: Inside Government The Postgraduate Education Forum, Manchester
EVENT: HEA Executive Development Programme 2015-16 - Seminar 4, Birmingham
EVENT: QAA 10th European Quality Assurance Forum, London (Until 21st)
EVENT: EQAF 2015 conference, London
Friday 20th November
EVENT: SRHE International Students: Transition, Belonging & Support seminar, London
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