Articles from Office for Students (OfS)

Higher education outreach during the pandemic

The @OfficeStudents (OfS) has today (9 Jul) published a briefing note looking at the practical ways in which universities, colleges and other organisations are continuing to support disadvantaged students through outreach programmes during the pandemic. Through higher education outreach, universities and colleges work with schools, local authorities and third sector organisations to encourage people who might not have traditionally considered higher education to do so by raising awareness and expectations, challenging barriers and providing opportunities. However, coronavirus restrictions including school and university closures mean that many of these activities are not currently possible, requiring other ways to engage potential students.

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.

Regulator bans controversial ‘conditional unconditional’ offers during pandemic

@officestudents and @michelledonelan comment on regulator's ban of controversial ‘conditional unconditional’ offers during pandemic

Teaching grant budget for 2020-21 set out

The grant available totals £1,479 million which represents a reduction in funding of 0.5 per cent since 2019-20 in cash terms. As part of this year's funding there are some areas where additional provision is needed – primarily to reflect increases in intakes to pre-registration medical degrees and the continuing effects of the transfer of funding responsibility for pre-registration courses in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions. This means the underlying cut in recurrent funding is greater – at around £70 million (5 per cent) in cash terms, although this should be viewed alongside an increase in capital funding of £50 million.

Briefing note published on supporting disabled students during the pandemic

@officestudents (OfS) has today published a briefing note looking at the range of different approaches that universities and colleges are taking to support disabled students during the pandemic. Many disabled students already face challenges during their time in higher education that students without a known disability do not. In an Insight brief on disabled students published last year, the OfS highlighted that disabled students are less likely to continue their degrees, graduate with a good degree, and progress onto a highly skilled job or further study.

Sir Michael Barber highlights achievements of OfS, as he agrees new digital role

Sir Michael Barber has highlighted significant achievements secured at the @OfficeStudents (OfS) in an exchange of letters with Education Secretary @GavinWilliamson published today (24 Jun) which confirm that he will not seek a second term as chair. 

Supporting graduate employability during the pandemic

The @officestudents (OfS) has today published a briefing note looking at the practical ways in which universities, colleges and other organisations are supporting students with their entry to the graduate job market during the pandemic. With some employers having to make redundancies, freeze recruitment, and scale back graduate outreach as a result of COVID-19’s effect on the economy, many students are facing disruption to their plans for the future. Apprentices are also facing significant challenges, with recent research from the Sutton Trust suggesting that only 39 per cent of apprenticeships are continuing as normal.

Office for Students responds to HESA graduate outcomes survey

The @OfficeStudents (OfS) has commented on the results of HESA's new graduate outcomes survey.

New funds to boost student mental health through pandemic

The new platform, Student Space, will launch in July with development led by @StudentMindsOrg. It is supported by up to £3 million funding awarded today (17 June) by the @Officetudents (OfS). 

Briefing note published on supporting prospective students during pandemic

@officestudents (OfS) has today released a briefing note on the different ways in which universities, colleges and other organisations are providing information, advice and guidance to prospective students intending to start a higher education course in autumn 2020. UCAS data shows that, by the middle of January, over 568,000 prospective students had applied to university. With decision deadlines now imminent, the coronavirus pandemic is creating a huge amount of uncertainty in the decision making process for these and many more subsequent applicants.

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