Wonkhe: Hopes, fears and predictions for the coming White Paper

Ahead of the HE White Paper, Wonkhe asked Chief Executive Maddalaine Ansell on her predictions for what could come out of the plans.


She said:

“The White Paper will introduce the next phase of the Government’s extensive reform programme. So far, this has been radical – going right to the heart of what higher education is and who it is for. We expect this trend to continue and the sector should be ready for more disruption. Our hope is that this disruption creates space for innovation. If the TEF is set up in a way that rewards those universities that have always put their students at the heart of what they do and have constantly challenged themselves to do better – for example through their links with business or by using their research to enhance their teaching – it will be a good thing.

The fear is that it will drive universities towards playing safe, creating a system where everything looks more or less the same. Or worst of all to chasing the students that are most likely to succeed rather than opening up opportunity to those from less affluent backgrounds.

Keeping the theme of hoping the system will be better at recognising excellence, we will be looking for reassurance that, even if QR is moved to Research UK, the dual funding system will be protected and that any changes to the REF make it more rather than less likely that excellence will be recognised wherever it is found.”

Read the full Wonkhe piece here – and our response to the HE White Paper published today.

Further reading