MPs will debate a number of petitions today (16 Nov) relating to university tuition fees. The petitioners argue that the university strikes and now the COVID-19 outbreak have disrupted university education so much that students should be entitled to a reimbursement on their fees. While not all of the petitions are explicit on who should pay whom, the general presumption seems to be that it would be universities paying back whoever paid them in the first place.
Ethnic minorities form a growing proportion of UK academic economists, though some remain heavily under-represented in the most prestigious institutions
Among economists in UK universities, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) doing research are from non-White backgrounds, an increase of 5 percentage points since 2012. This is higher than academia overall and the general population. Reflecting a broader pattern in UK academia, Chinese and Indian ethnicity individuals are overrepresented, while Black individuals are underrepresented.
Further and higher education providers face severe resource challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a decade of spending cuts, further education colleges and sixth forms need to help students who have fallen behind and cater for extra students as employment and apprenticeship opportunities dry up. Higher education institutions are heavily exposed to changes in domestic student participation and potential declines in international student numbers, as well as large pension scheme losses over the medium-term.