Higher education

All Commons Briefing Papers
60 Documents
DateDescription
27.09.2016Careers 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.
19.09.2016Education expenditure: 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: 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 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.
15.07.2016Freezing the student loan repayment threshold
In September 2012 the Government made significant changes to the student finance system: tuition fees for full-time undergraduate degrees were raised to 9,000 per year, the loan repayment threshold was raised to 21,000 and a new tiered rate of interest was introduced for student loans. In 2015 the Government issued a consultation on freezing the loan repayment threshold for five years. In November 2015 the Government announced in the Spending Review that it had decided to freeze the repayment threshold for all post-2012 loans until at least April 2021.
13.07.2016Sources of social statistics: Education
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on education.
30.06.2016Higher Education and Research Bill 2016 [Bill No 004 of 2016-17]
This paper has been written for the House of Commons Second Reading debate on the Higher Education and Research Bill 2016. The Bill brings forward a range of measures to increase competition and choice in the higher education sector, raise standards and strengthen capabilities in UK research and innovation. The Bill implements the legislative proposals in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) White Paper, Success as a Knowledge Economy: Teaching, Social Mobility and Student Choice and in Sir Paul Nurse's report, Ensuring a successful UK research endeavour: A Review of the UK Research Councils by Paul Nurse, November 2015. The Bill will establish a new body the Office for Students, create a single route into the higher education sector, create alternative payments for students and make changes to UK research infrastructure.
19.05.2016Higher Education White Paper Success as a Knowledge Economy
In November 2015 the government published a Green Paper Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice which outlined proposals to reshape the HE landscape, raise standards and increase competition in the sector. The White Paper echoes the proposals in the Green Paper and proposes creating: a single route into the HE sector, the Teaching and Excellence Framework, the Office for Students and UK Research and Innovation.
10.05.2016Initial teacher training in England
This note outlines the current arrangements for the initial training of school teachers in England. It covers degree- and school-based training routes, and provides background on recent policy developments. It also outlines the qualification requirements for teachers in different types of schools, and proposals to replace the current QTS status with a new teacher accreditation.
03.05.2016Reform of support for healthcare students in England
This note explains the proposed 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 September 2017 NHS bursaries which provide tuition fee funding, grants and living cost support, will be replaced by funding through the standard student support package of loans. The paper provides background to the proposals, data on nursing and midwifery students and gives reaction to the proposals.
13.04.2016Higher education finance statistics
How has the balance and make-up of university income and expenditure changed over time, particularly since 2012?
10.03.2016Special 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
29.01.2016HE in England from 2012: Funding and finance
The Government raised the cap on tuition fees for new student to 9,000 in 2012/13 and cut most ongoing direct public funding for tuition in England. This shifted the balance of higher education funding further away from the state and further towards the individual who benefits. Students can take out publicly subsided student loans to pay these higher fees. There is uncertainty about the final size of this subsidy and the Government's estimate of it has increased considerably since the reforms were first announced. This also affects the size of any saving in public expenditure and the extent of the shift in costs from the state to the individual beneficiary.
22.01.2016Student 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
19.01.2016Abolition of maintenance grants in England from 2016/17
The Summer Budget 2015 announced that grants would be replace with increased maintenance loans from 2016/17. This change could have an impact on efforts to widen participation in higher education and on long-term public finances.
18.01.2016The 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?
11.01.2016Support for higher education students with discretionary leave to remain
This briefing gives and overview of student support arrangements for students with limited and discretionary leave to remain in the UK and discusses recent policy developments since the Supreme Court judgement in the Tigere case in July 2015. The paper flags up the Department for Business and Skills consultation containing proposals to create a new category of student support eligibility which will apply to students with long term residency in the UK.
05.01.2016Reform of the Disabled Students' Allowance in England
This briefing gives details of the new Disabled Students' Allowances which were announced on 2 December 2015, the changes will come into effect in 2016/17. The changes aim to improve value for money and rebalance the distribution of responsibility for disabled students between HEIs and the Government. The briefing gives details of the new system, highlights issues and contains comment, it follows on from library briefing paper SN/SP/6013, Changes to the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA), 14 October 2014.
03.12.2015Introduction of loans for postgraduate students
This briefing provides details of the new postgraduate loan system, including the consultation and the reaction to the announcement of the scheme.
03.12.2015Support for postgraduate students in England
This briefing provides information on the different types of financial assistance available to postgraduate students in England.
25.11.2015Higher Education Green Paper 2015 Fulfilling Our Potential
The Higher Education Green Paper published on 6 November 2015 makes proposals to reform the higher education system. The paper proposes introducing the Teaching Excellence Framework to assess teaching quality in higher education institutions and reward those with excellent teaching. It will also introduce a single entry route into higher education to level the playing field between public providers and private providers, strengthen activities around access to higher education and abolish the Higher Education Funding Council for England and replace it with a new body the Office for Students. The consultation on the Green Paper closes on 15 January 2016 and it is anticipated that a higher education bill will follow.
16.11.2015Social Indicators 2015
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.
06.10.2015Tuition fee statistics
This note gives a brief summary of statistics on aggregate tuition fee liability/payment under the current and previous systems; the impact on student numbers, payment by student characteristics and the contribution of tuition fees to higher education funding. Some statistics cover England and Wales, although more recent data on variable fees and the post 2012 system is for England only.
10.07.2015Summer Budget 2015: A summary
This note presents a summary of the Summer Budget 2015. This note provides an overview of the main Budget measures (see below), along with analysis of the forecasts, changes to the fiscal rules, changes to welfare, the National Living Wage, and public spending.
20.05.2015Freedom of speech and preventing extremism in UK higher education institutions
UK higher education institutions have a statutory duty to uphold freedom of speech in their institutions as far as is practical within the law. This duty has come under pressure recently from the Government's Prevent Strategy and provisions in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This note sets out legislation in this area and gives an overview of debate.
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.
12.05.2015Support for medical students in England in 2014/15 and 2015/16
This note sets out the financial support available to students in England starting undergraduate and graduate degrees in medicine in 2014/15 and 2015/16.
26.03.2015Higher education tuition fees in England - party policies 2015
This note give an overview of the post-2012 higher education tuition fee system, it sets out the different fee arrangement across the UK and outlines the policies of political parties with regard to tuition fees.
26.02.20152014 Research Excellence Framework
Since 1986 block grant funding for university researrch has been selectively distributed to institutions using data obtained in some form of research assessment process. Results of the most recent process - the Research Excellence Framework (REF) were announced in December 2014. This note discusses the REF and issues around it.
10.12.2014Education spending in the UK
Briefing paper analysing trends in UK public sector expenditure on education up to 2013-14, plans up to 2015-16, variations within the UK, long term trends in education spending since the 1950s and international comparisons.
31.10.2014HE in England from 2012: Student numbers
New students starting higher education in England in 2012 faced higher tuition fees, potentially higher loan interest rates and longer loan durations. The Government has also introducing a new 'core and margin' model which introduces an element of competition into the allocation of student numbers between institutions. The impact of these changes on potential students and student numbers is seen as one key test of the success of the Government's reforms to higher education in England. The number of new fell in 2012 as it did when fees were first introduced and then raised in the past. Any long term change to student numbers would also have important implications for the financial health of the higher education sector and the UK economy.
03.09.2014Social Indicators
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.
13.08.2014Expansion of private higher education provision in England
This note gives an overview of the growth in the private higher education sector since 2011; it discusses the controversy around the provision of student support for students at private higher education institutions and the introduction of student number controls at private institutions.
12.06.2014Changes to the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
This note gives a brief overview of the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) and outlines proposed changes to the grant
04.06.2014Home student criteria for HE student support in England
The purpose of this note it to outline the criteria used for the classification of students as home or overseas students for higher education student support.
06.02.2014Constituency casework toolkit: Student Support
The purpose of this note is to provide Members, their assistants and constituency caseworkers with a framework to help them answer constituents' enquiries on student support issues.
16.01.2014Sale of student loans
21.10.2013Entrants to higher education
The number of students applying to university through UCAS has increased for many years. The main exceptions were when tuition fees were introduced (1998), 'variable' fees meant they were increased (2006) and when the cap on fees was lifted to 9,000 in England in 2012. In 2012 the number of applicants fell by around 47,000 (6.6%) and the number of acceptances by around 27,000 (5.5%). There were larger percentage falls among students who will be liable for higher fees; and the largest drop among older applicants (who could avoid higher fees by starting earlier) and students from the EU (who could avoid higher fees by studying elsewhere). Applications up to the end of June 2013 were 3.1% higher than in 2012. Acceptances to mid-September were 9% up.
09.05.2013Regulation of the higher education sector in England
28.11.2012Education: Historical statistics
The organisation of every stage of education has undergone significant change over the last century. These changes have fundamentally altered most aspects of education. Historical indicators are therefore particularly interesting, but also problematic. Very few series are consistent over more than a few decades. The definition/size of different stages of education (primary, secondary, further/higher), school leaving ages and examinations have changed markedly as have state organisation and funding. As key concepts in education change so do the types of statistics collected. The increased role of the state in the first half of the 20th century also widened the scope of official education statistics.
22.03.2012University tuition fees and student support across Europe
08.02.2012Higher education student support across the UK regions from September 2012
06.02.2012Changes to higher education funding and student support from 2012/13
The Government has raised the cap on tuition fees to £9,000, cut most ongoing direct public funding for tuition and will change various loan repayment terms. The proposed new system will apply to new students in England from 2012/13. The first indication is that net average fees will be around 8,070 in 2012/13. The Higher Education White Paper has set out broad proposals for further reform of the sector.
08.12.2011Private higher education provision
05.05.2011Education Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Education Bill. It complements Research Paper 11/14, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate, which examines the range of matters covered by the Bill. As originally presented, the Bill sought to make provision relating to the National Assembly for Wales' framework powers. However, these clauses were removed from the Bill following the 'yes' vote in the Welsh Devolution Referendum. A Government amendment to clause 13 (reporting restrictions on alleged offences by teachers) was agreed to without a vote. This inserted new schedule 11B into the Education Act 2002, and was introduced to secure compliance with a European Electronic Commerce Directive. Several minor and technical Government amendments were also made to the Bill. The Opposition tabled many amendments, a considerable number of which were pressed to a division, but none was successful.
07.02.2011Education Bill [Bill 137 of 2010-11]
This paper has been written for the House of Commons Second Reading debate on the Education Bill [Bill 137] on 8 February 2011. The Bill seeks to implement the legislative proposals in the Department for Education's schools White Paper, 'The Importance of Teaching', and measures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills relating to skills and the reform of higher education funding. It is therefore a very wide-ranging Bill.
08.12.2010The Government's proposals on higher education funding and student support and their impact on access to higher education
29.10.2010The Browne Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance
The purpose of this note is to provide an overview of the report of the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance (the Browne Review). The note highlights the report's proposals and includes analysis and responses to the report. This note follows on from two earlier notes on this topic: SN/SP/5695 Reform of higher education funding in England and SN/SP/4917 Review of higher education tuition fees.
08.10.2010Reform of higher education funding in England
The purpose of this note is to provide an overview of higher education funding in England and to highlight current debate on the wider issues of the funding and structure of higher education. On the 9th November 2009 the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance was launched under the chairmanship of Lord Browne. The primary task of the review is to make recommendations on the future of fees policy and financial support for full and part-time students, the review is due to publish a report in October 2010. This note flags up some of the issues possibly being considered by the Browne Review.
18.06.2010Higher education and social class
The evidence, as far as it goes, suggests that over the latter half of the 20th century there was little change in the proportion of university students from lower social classes. Their participation in higher education increased, but so did participation from all social classes and the gap that was apparent in the middle of the last century was broadly maintained to the end. Even the rapid expansion of higher education in the early 1990s had little impact on this. There now exists a wide range of indicators of disadvantage and looking across these over the past five years or so there is some evidence that this gap has started to close. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds have increased their participation in higher education at a faster absolute rate than those from more advantaged backgrounds. However, the gaps in participation remain very large and the rate of change is slow.
28.01.2010Graduate Internships
07.01.2010Sources of historical statistics
Details of online sources of historical statistics across all subject areas other than the economy. These sources are either long-term time series or snapshots of a range of data from a specific point in the past.They allow comparisons between the present day and the start of data collection and any intervening period and give an understanding of patterns -have trends been smooth, random, cyclical etc? Snapshots cover a wider range of data and help us make more general comparisons between 'then' and 'now'. Most of the series go back to around the 1920s or earlier. . This note does not include links to economic data or anything to do with family history.
18.12.2007Sale of Student Loans Bill Committee Stage Report, Bill 13 of 2007-08
Sale of Student Loans Bill Committee Stage Report. (Bill 13 of 2007-08). House of Commons Library Research Paper 07/92.
15.11.2007Sale of Student Loans Bill, Bill 6 of 2007/08.
Sale of Student Loans Bill. (Bill 6 of 2007/08). House of commons Library Research Paper 07/78.
21.01.2004Higher Education Bill (Bill 35 2003/04)
Higher Education Bill. (Bill 35 of 2003/04). House of Commons Library Research Paper 04/08.
06.05.2003Social indicators
Social indicators. (Includes article on Higher education applications and topical subject pages on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and London congestion charge). House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/40.
13.03.1998The Teaching and Higher Education Bill (HL) 1997/98: the teaching profession
The Teaching and Higher Education Bill (HL) (Bill 145 1997/98): the teaching profession. House of Commons Library Research Paper 98/34.
12.03.1998The Teaching and Higher Education Bill (HL) 1997/98: financial provisions for higher and further education
The Teaching and Higher Education Bill (HL) (Bill 145 1997/98): financial provision for higher and further education. House of Commons Library Research Paper 98/33.