Higher education

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The page will automatically redirect to Higher Education Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on higher education. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
10.11.2016Special Educational Needs: support in England
This House of Commons Library briefing sets out the system of support for children and young people in England aged 0-25 with special educational needs (SEN). The briefing provides an overview of the new system introduced in 2014, the transitional arrangements, and how the new system differs from that which preceded it. It also includes a brief history of the movement towards reform that preceded the 2014 changes, and information on the impact of the new system available to date.
03.11.2016Reform of support for healthcare students in England
This note explains the changes to funding for students on NHS funded courses in England, that lead to professional registration as nurses, midwives, or other allied health professionals as announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015. From August 2017 NHS bursaries which provide tuition fee funding, grants and living cost support, will largely be replaced by funding through the standard student support package of loans. The paper provides background to the changes.
02.11.2016Careers guidance in schools, colleges and universities (England)
This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at the requirements on schools, colleges and universities in England to provide careers guidance, the quality of the advice provided, and also the organisations working to provide careers advice.
24.10.2016The value of student maintenance support
How have student maintenance support levels changed over time? How has the balance between grants and loans changed? What will the Chancellor's Budget announcement on the ending of grants mean to this and to potential students?
17.10.2016Student loan statistics
Student loans are the main method of direct government support for higher education students. More than 10 billion is loaned to students each year, this is expected to grow rapidly and reach around 330 billion (2014-15 prices) by the middle of this century. The expansion of loans has raised questions about graduate repayments and ultimately the cost of the system to the taxpayer
19.09.2016Education expenditure (UK): Social Indicators page
Trends in spending since the late 1970s and international comparisons. Updated to include spending figures published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2016 and Education at a Glance 2015
19.09.2016Participation in higher education in England and the UK: Social Indicators page
Trends in participation including new figures for 2013/14
06.09.2016Applicants and entrants to higher education: Social Indicators page
Brief snapshot of changes in applications and entrants to HE via UCAS
05.09.2016Oxbridge 'elitism'
Interest in the background of students who go to Oxford and Cambridge is very longstanding. The 1852 Royal Commissions on both universities identified access by poorer students as an important and longstanding issue. The debate about elitism at Oxford and Cambridge has tended to focus on a single indicator -the proportion of students accepted from state schools- and particularly whether it has gone up or down in the latest year. This gives a limited view only. A fuller picture needs more context, including longer term trends in this indicator, rates of entry for other under-represented groups, data on other prestige universities and a better understanding of the types of state schools that send pupils to Oxbridge. Both universities now take more than half of their entrants from state schools, if overseas entrants are excluded. These rates are generally increasing, but the historical data shows that progress has been slow.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
27.10.2016Leaving the European Union: Funding for Universities and Scientific Research
This House of Lords Library briefing provides information on current university and research funding in the UK and identifies some of the key issues raised about this funding following the UK's referendum vote to withdraw from the EU.
12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 1: Business, Culture, Education, Health and Welfare
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
23.11.2015Freedom of Speech in Higher Education Institutions
This Library Note has been prepared to support the debate in the House of Lords on the protection of freedom of speech in universities on 26 November 2015.
16.07.2015Debate on the Budget Statement
This Library Note provides background information on the Budget Statement which was delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on 8 July 2015. The Note provides a brief overview of some of the key Budget measures, before outlining the immediate reaction to the statement as expressed by members of the House of Commons and by a selection of organisations and commentators. It has been written to support the debate in the House of Lords on this subject scheduled to take place on 21 July 2015.
09.06.2011Education Bill (HL Bill 67 of 2010-12)
This Library Note provides information for the second reading of the Education Bill in the House of Lords.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
19.10.2015Trends in ICT
This note looks at developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and their relevance for UK policy in the next five years. It examines the capability, use and economic impact of ICT; technical barriers; and implications for cybersecurity, privacy and internet governance.
08.03.2013STEM education for 14-19 year olds
This POSTnote reviews the current state of STEM education for 14-19 year olds in the UK, highlighting key challenges and ongoing policy reforms.
01.01.2007Strategic science, January 2007
Strategic science, January 2007. POSTnote 07/277.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
13.03.2012Modernisation of higher education in Europe.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
20.10.2011Student visas follow-up report.
Government response. Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
18.07.2011Student visas follow-up report.
Government response. Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
11.05.2011Regulating financial sustainability in higher education.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
15.03.2011Student visas.
Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
15.12.2011MASTERS DEGREE IN SIGN LANGUAGE
That this House congratulates Heriot-Watt University on becoming the first in Scotland to offer a full-time MA in British Sign Language (BSL); notes with concern that there are only ...
30.11.2011STEVE ROBERTSON MBE
That this House expresses sadness at the death of Scottish comedy star Steve Robertson MBE; believes that he will be remembered with great affection as one-third of the Scotland The ...
28.11.2011EDWARD BAUER, THE RIGHT TO PROTEST AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH
That this House notes the Birmingham University Guild of Students is running disciplinary proceedings against Edward Bauer, the elected Sabbatical Vice President (Education) of the ...
10.10.2011PROPOSED MERGER OF SCOTTISH UNIVERSITIES
That this House condemns proposals put forward by the Scottish Government in Holyrood to force Scottish universities to merge and in so doing undermining their academic and administrative ...
27.06.2011FOR-PROFIT UNIVERSITIES
That this House is concerned by the possible expansion of for-profit providers in the higher education sector; is further concerned that the world-class teaching and research of the ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses