• Research Briefing

    Coronavirus: Financial impact on higher education

    Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic there have been concerns about the financial impact on universities. Much of this has focussed on the potential loss of international students, but there could also be losses in income from lower home student numbers, a drop in research work and less revenue from accommodation, catering and conferencing. What are the size of these impacts and what has the Government done to support the sector?

  • Research Briefing

    Coronavirus: Higher and further education back to campus in England in 2020/21?

    What is the guidance for students moving back on to campuses at the start of in 2020-21 and on returning home for the Christmas break? What concerns were raised about the return to campus? How have universities changed the way they organise teaching and how does this affect potential fee refunds? How many students and staff have tested positive for Covid-19? Has the peak among students passed? What impact will the national lockdown from 5 January 2021 have on students and providers?

  • Research Briefing

    The Erasmus Programme

    This House of Commons briefing provides information on the Erasmus+ programme and discusses the future position of the UK with regard to the scheme post Brexit. On 24 December 2020 the Prime Minister announced that the UK would no longer participate in Erasmus+ and would develop its own replacement programme - the Turing Scheme.

  • Research Briefing

    Support for students with mental health issues in higher education in England

    This House of Commons library briefing paper sets out data on the prevalence of mental health conditions in higher education students in England and outlines the action higher education providers, the government and the Office for Students are taking to help students with mental health issues. It also flags up how students can get support and looks at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Research Briefing

    Student loan statistics

    Student loans are the main method of direct government support for higher education students. More than £17 billion is loaned to students each year. The value of outstanding loans at the end of March 20 reached £140 billion. The Government forecasts the value of outstanding loans to be around £560 billion (2019‑20 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

  • Research Briefing

    The reviews of university admissions

    This House of Commons briefing paper discusses the university admissions system and the various review of university admissions. The Office for Students launched its review on 27 February 2020. On 22 July 2019 Universities UK launched its own separate review of admissions which was published on 13 November 2020. On the same day Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson said that it was his intention to consider post-qualification university admissions and that the government will consult on proposals to “remove the unfairness” in the university admission system. The paper focuses on the use of predicted grades for university admissions, the increase in unconditional offers by universities, contextual admissions and issues around a post qualification admissions system.

  • Research Briefing

    Student support for undergraduates across the UK

    In the UK, higher education (HE) is a devolved matter and each nation has its own finance arrangements and student funding system. This paper outlines the student support systems for undergraduate higher education students in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It sets out the amount of funding that students may receive and references recent debates and developments in HE funding across the UK.

  • Research Briefing

    Update on the sale of student loans

    This House of Commons library paper gives an overview of the first sale of a tranche of English income-contingent student loans. It gives background to the sale and discusses the impact of the sale on borrowers and whether value for money was achieved by the sale. The Government announced the end of the sales programme in Budget 2020.