With November coming to a close, the higher education sector has never been busier.
With events and vital reports being released, many of which made major headlines across the UK and around the world.
The spending review’s impact on student loans
Last Wednesday saw the Chancellor announce the new Spending Review which will influence the course of government spending up until the 2020 General Election and the proposed increase in student loan repayments appeared in many of the UK’s main headlines. The near £3,000 increase in repayments sparked country-wide outrage, with critics claiming that it will deter young people from going to university, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Osborne’s autumn statement, which was released on Wednesday last week, confirmed that the earnings threshold at which students would start to pay back loans would be frozen for five years rather than being raised in line with average earnings.
The retrospective freezing of the threshold at £21,000 would mean that a graduate could pay back as much as an additional £3,000. Disadvantaged students who had previously been eligible for support grants could be even worse off, and those earning close to median incomes would end up paying back £6,000 extra according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust, criticised the decision in the Guardian saying he deplored it as “something that damages trust in the loans system.”
The UN Launches HeForShe Global Ideathon
UN Women launched the first-ever HeForShe Ideathon last week in support of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign, UNiTE to End Violence Against Women. The HeForShe Ideathon is specifically targeted at the student population, providing them with a global platform on which to create ways to address the issue of gender-based violence in universities.
Elizabeth Nyamayaro, senior adviser to the under-secretary-general at U.N. Women and head of the HeForShe Initiative, wrote the following in FastCompany:
“So HeForShe has built a platform to help young people feel liberated from those gender-based social constructs. The #GetFree University tour aims to create a world where we can all be free to be ourselves—that is, to be emotional, strong, ambitious, vulnerable, and real—on our own terms.”
Top 50 Under 50 released
Last week saw the release of the QS Top 50 Under 50, a ranking of universities that are less than 50 years old. The QS Top 50 Under 50 acts as something of “ones to watch” in which young universities which are making an impact on the global rankings tables are recognised. This year’s edition saw a significant amount of growth in progress from leading young institutions across Asia, with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University claiming the top spot.
The release of the QS Top 50 Under 50 was covered in The Pie News, the leading news and business analysis publication for professionals in the international higher education industry.
You can read more about our QS Top 50 Under 50 rankings here.