Articles from Office for Students (OfS)

Interim evaluation of access and participation reforms

The first of a two-part evaluation of the effectiveness of access and participation plan reform has been published today (23 Oct).

New fund to improve postgraduate research participation and access

These students are underrepresented in postgraduate research study – and new data published today by the OfS (@officestudents) shows there has been little change in recent years. Participation in PGR study at high-tariff universities and colleges (where most PGR study takes place) remains low; 17.1 per cent of PGR students in 2017-18 were from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, a rise of just 1.4 percentage points compared to participation levels in 2010-11. Evidence suggests that a number of barriers and equality gaps at undergraduate level continue to negatively impact Black, Asian and minority ethnic students’ progression to PGR study. For example, OfS data shows a difference of 22.1 percentage points between the proportion of white and Black students getting a 1st or 2:1 in 2017-18, while only 4.7 per cent of PGR students entering in the same year were Black.

American style contextual admissions needed to recognise the potential of disadvantaged students

Radical changes needed to ensure university admissions identify potential, not just exam results.

OfS seeks views on distributing funding for increased medical student numbers

The additional funding, made available by the Department for Education (@educationgovuk), follows the award of centre-assessed grades to this year’s A-level students and the cap on the number of places on medical and dental courses being temporarily lifted. Additional grant funding will be made available to support universities, colleges and other higher education providers who have since taken on more students studying high-cost subjects – for example, medicine, dentistry, healthcare courses and other laboratory-based subjects.

Student satisfaction stable as data continues to highlight need for clear communication

#NSS2020 - The results of the @OfficeStudents 2020 National Student Survey  Responding to this year’s National Student Survey (NSS), published today (15 Jul), 83 per cent of the 311,432 UK students are satisfied with the quality of their course – marginally down from 84 per cent last year. However, students have continued to report comparatively lower rates of satisfaction with how their courses are organised and how effectively changes are communicated by their university or college.

Regulator monitoring digital teaching quality at universities

England’s higher education regulator, the Office for Students, has today assured students that it is actively monitoring universities with significant numbers of students being required to take all their courses online as a result of local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

New report published on mental health support for postgraduate research students

In 2018, the OfS (@officestudents) and Research England (@ResEngland) awarded £1.5 million of funding for the development of 17 projects across the country to support postgraduate researchers’ mental health. Vitae, an organisation which supports PGR students’ professional development, has published its final report in collaboration with Universities UK on the impact of the funding. The projects, which took place over a two-year period, included a range of approaches such as the development of peer support networks, workshops on academic writing and online coaching programmes.

Principles-based regulation: OfS publishes new Insight brief

The briefing sets out why a principles-based approach to regulation works for the diverse nature of English higher education. The alternative – where universities and other higher education providers would need to follow rigid rules and procedures – would be likely to stifle innovation and not be in the long-term interests of providers or students. The briefing argues that such an approach could also act as a barrier preventing new and innovative providers from entering the market. The briefing sets the scene for a series of consultations and guidance that the OfS will be publishing in the coming months and into the new year. The OfS wants all students with the desire and ability to go to university or college to have the opportunity to receive a high-quality higher education with successful outcomes regardless of their background. Our approach to regulation is designed to ensure that these two key areas of regulation – quality and equality of opportunity – reinforce one another for the benefit of students.

OfS student panel outlines priority areas for supporting students in self-isolation

The Office for Students’ (OfS) student panel, which advises the @OfficeStudents, has published a set of priorities for universities and colleges to consider when supporting students who have been asked to self-isolate.

£1 million funding competition to support student mental health

Following a pause to allow universities and colleges to prioritise their response to the pandemic, the @OfficeStudents (OfS) has relaunched its £1 million funding competition to improve #MentalHealth support for students.

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Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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