Heloa future of wp and ah 280111


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HELOA Conference 2011

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Heloa future of wp and ah 280111

  1. 1. The Future of Widening Participation and Aimhigher in the Higher Education Sector HELOA Annual Conference 28 January 2011, Bristol Rob Cuthbert Professor of Higher Education Management University of the West of England [email_address] http://www.uwe.ac.uk/groups/campus/index.shtml
  2. 2. The future of WP and Aimhigher <ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Coalition proposals </li></ul><ul><li>Consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Widening participation: what works <ul><li>Expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Stability </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration within HE and beyond </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term approach </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated people at the grassroots </li></ul><ul><li>So Aimhigher works … </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Whitehall problem with WP <ul><li>Obsession with the most prestigious HEIs </li></ul><ul><li>Policy for institutions drowns out policy for the sector as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>Belief that Whitehall knows best </li></ul><ul><li>Beliefs that are wrong – except in Whitehall </li></ul><ul><li>Central initiatives that make less sense at institutional level: OFFA, access agreements, bursaries, Schwartz … </li></ul>
  5. 5. Browne’s principles <ul><li>More investment for HE, less by Govt </li></ul><ul><li>Increase student choice </li></ul><ul><li>Fair access </li></ul><ul><li>No upfront costs to students </li></ul><ul><li>Graduate repayments affordable </li></ul><ul><li>Treat FT and PT students the same for the costs of learning </li></ul>
  6. 6. Browne’s assertions <ul><li>What matters most are global economic competitiveness and labour market skills </li></ul><ul><li>Higher fees will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>bring greater competition between institutions for students, which will </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>drive up the quality of the student experience, which will </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>improve graduates’ skills for work </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Browne and WP <ul><li>Topslice fees > £6000 to pay for access </li></ul><ul><li>‘ non-priority’ subjects are popular with students from under-represented groups </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, a gamble with the fortunes of those who do most for WP, to placate those who do least </li></ul>
  8. 8. Coalition proposals <ul><li>David Willetts: “The Government is committed to good universities, but it is equally serious about social mobility. The two must go hand in hand. And I hope you will recognise the strength of feeling in the Coalition that one of the non-negotiables in all this is that universities must deliver on broadening access. The challenge is to achieve this with imaginative and equitable policy – not with clunky quotas or crude social engineering. I believe we can do it …” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Coalition proposals <ul><li>Fees £6000-9000: Government surprise at the widespread plans to charge £9000 </li></ul><ul><li>National Scholarships Programme £(1)50million </li></ul><ul><li>Simon Hughes, Access Tsar </li></ul><ul><li>No reduction in the public spending deficit </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More indebted, less well-educated, more socially stratified, less public-spirited graduate citizens? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Not forgetting … <ul><ul><li>Abolition of EMAs and cuts in FE (but growth in apprenticeships) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>White Paper: The Importance of Teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>National Curriculum Review and EBac </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pupil premium/£110million Educational Endowment Fund </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Progression-to-HE measure as an explicit objective for schools? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Consequences and Conclusions: The HE White Paper <ul><ul><li>How will Govt control overall numbers in HE, if not by entry level, or ‘clunky quotas? If by quotas, how can market forces work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will Government reconcile expansion with affordability? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will Government avoid losses from defaulting by non-UK students? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will there still be a WP premium/ Access and Success Fund, and if so how will it work? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Consequences and Conclusions: The HE White Paper <ul><ul><li>How will the National Scholarships Programme actually work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will access agreements and WPSAs be reconciled, and what will the role of OFFA be? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How should institutions manage the tension between fair access and widening participation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will policies for schools, FE, IAG, WP and HE be joined up? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some nuts-and-bolts questions eg who gets a fees refund, and does it cancel the student debt? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Consequences and Conclusions: for HE providers <ul><ul><li>Coping with cuts and changes in how funds are delivered: patchier provision, fewer local opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coping with more risk and uncertainty about survival </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More private sector competition in business, law, teacher training, NHS (HE’s biggest customer), making public provision more risky, more expensive and more marginal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More public competition: FE, schools, other HEIs eg Open University recruiting more 18-19 year olds </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Consequences and Conclusions: for HE providers <ul><ul><li>Greater regulation, especially over access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic choice: radical restructuring? Good for WP? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘academic arms race’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students as customers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School/college partnerships without Aimhigher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to maintain broader networks, collaborative spirit, knowledge exchange: could HELOA help? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to reinvent coherence? WPSAs? New earmarked funds? </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Consequences and Conclusions: for schools and colleges <ul><li>Advising applicants on HEI quality and reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Advising applicants on more complex offers </li></ul><ul><li>Will UCAS and/or Clearing stay intact? </li></ul><ul><li>More competition from other schools and colleges, from the new UTCs, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Whether to narrow or diversify their offering </li></ul>
  16. 16. Consequences and Conclusions: for Government <ul><ul><li>how to implement policy in a sensible way, addressing the many practical difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to avoid a significant contraction of the HE sector, and narrowing of access to HE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to avoid creating another ‘lost generation’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to retain the capacity for social policymaking in HE </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Consequences and Conclusions: for HELOA and for HE <ul><li>Mobilise the continuing support for WP </li></ul><ul><li>More emphasis on wider benefits of HE </li></ul><ul><li>Change how we think, and how other people think, about higher education </li></ul><ul><li>The future is … </li></ul>
  18. 18. References <ul><li>Adnett N, C McCaig, K Slack and T Bowers-Brown (2011) ‘Achieving ‘Transparency, Consistency and Fairness’ in English higher education admissions: progress since Schwartz?’ Higher Education Quarterly 65(1) 12-33 </li></ul><ul><li>BIS (2010) Statement on higher education funding and finance by David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science 3 November 2010, Houses of Parliament http://www.bis.gov.uk/news/speeches/david-willetts-statement-on-HE-funding-and-student-finance </li></ul><ul><li>Brown R (2010) ‘The current brouhaha about standards in England’ Quality in Higher Education 16:2 June 2010 129-137 </li></ul><ul><li>Browne Report (2010) Securing a sustainable future for higher education An Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance www.independent.gov.uk/browne-report </li></ul><ul><li>Bynner J, P Dolton, L Feinstein, G Makepeace, L Malmberg and L Woods (2003) Revisiting the benefits of higher education A report by the Bedford Group for Lifecourse and Statistical Studies, Institute of Education. HEFCE April 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Callender C (2010) ‘Part-time higher education: issues and solutions’ Presentation to the HEFCE/NIACE seminar series Higher Education and Learning Through Life 6 September 2010 </li></ul>
  19. 19. References <ul><li>Corver M (2010) Have bursaries influenced choices between universities? A report for the Office of Fair Access by Mark Corver, senior analyst, HEFCE London: OFFA http://www.offa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Have-bursaries-influenced-choices-between-universities-.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Cuthbert R (2010) ‘Students as customers?’ Higher Education Review 42:3 3-25 </li></ul><ul><li>Cuthbert R (2010) CAMPUS Policy Commentary : An Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance http://www.uwe.ac.uk/groups/campus/policy/browne-review.shtml </li></ul><ul><li>Hatt S and J Tate (2010) Impact, relationships and sustainability: a study of higher education institutions and Aimhigher partnerships in the South West of England http://www.aimhighersw.ac.uk/research.html </li></ul><ul><li>HEPI (2010a) The Independent Review of Higher Education Funding: an analysis Authors: Bahram Bekhradnia and John Thompson Oxford: HEPI 15 Oct 2010 http://www.hepi.ac.uk/455-1860/The-Independent-Review-of-Higher-Education-Funding--an-analysis.html </li></ul><ul><li>HEPI (2010b) The government's proposals for higher education funding and student finance – an analysis Authors: Bahram Bekhradnia and John Thompson Oxford: HEPI 11 Nov 2010 http://www.hepi.ac.uk/455-1875/The-government's-proposals-for-higher-education-funding-and-student-finance-%e2%80%93-an-analysis.html </li></ul>
  20. 20. References <ul><li>King C (2008) Part time study in higher education Report commissioned by John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, for his review of the future of the HE sector 30 September 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Richards A (2011) ‘Census Data Show Rise in College Degrees, but Also in Racial Gaps in Education’ </li></ul><ul><li>The Chronicle of Higher Education January 23, 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Scott P (2010) ‘UK Higher Education in the 21st century: a changing picture?’ Quality Matters series Cheltenham: QAA and responses by John Brooks, Rob Cuthbert, Ruth Farwell http://www.qaa.ac.uk/enhancement/qualityMatters/default.asp </li></ul><ul><li>Tatlow P (2010) Access and participation in HE: current context and challenges Presentation for the Action on Access Conference December 2010 http://www.actiononaccess.org/?p=19_3_22 </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of teaching White Paper http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/schoolswhitepaper/b0068570/the-importance-of-teaching/ </li></ul>