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  • New Feature

    HEC launches report for the Disabled Students Inquiry

    On Wednesday 7th October, the Higher Education Commission & Policy Connect launched the report for the Disabled Students Inquiry, ‘Arriving at Thriving: Learning from disabled students to ensure access for all’. The inquiry aimed to uncover the reasons for disparities in disabled students’ continuation, attainment and graduate outcomes; and to advise government and the HE sector on how to remove barriers and give students the support they need.

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  • New Feature

    Social Mobility Foundation confirms HE Commission’s concerns on degree apprenticeships

    Following warnings from our 2019 report on degree apprenticeships, new research from the Sutton Trust finds that disadvantaged young people are ‘losing out’ on degree apprenticeships.

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  • New Feature

    International students policy win


    The Higher Education Commission welcomes the news of today’s policy win, as the Department for Education announces the introduction of two year post-study work visas for international students. We recommended this in our September 2018 report ‘Staying Ahead: Are International Students Going Down Under?’, stating in Recommendation 3 that the Home Office should institute improved post-study work options and streamlined visa processes to match our key competitors such as Australia.

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  • New Feature

    HE Commission findings discussed in House of Lords Post-18 Review debate

    This week the Lord Norton of Louth, Chair of the HE Commission, presented our findings in two debates in the House of Lords.

    In the Post 18 Review of Education and Funding debate, Lord Norton discussed the HE Commission's findings on degree apprenticeships and how they compared to the Augar report's analysis. Lord Norton also welcomed the recommendations for increased FE funding and the return of maintenance grants, but warned against seeing HE in a domestic vacuum and voiced concerns on how value for money is measured in the sector. Lord Norton also presented our findings in a wider apprenticeships debate later in the week. 

    You can read a transcription of Lord Norton's speech on our news section. 

  • New Feature

    HE Commission seeing impact from major reports

    Since the launch of their latest report, Degree Apprenticeships: Up to Standard?, Policy Connect and the HE Commission have been engaging with a range of key policy makers to take the recommendations forward. After briefing the Post-18 Review panel, the Commission were pleased to be cited in their recent report and to see alignment in their recommendations. This also follows briefing the Rt Hon Anne Milton, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships, on the recommendations of our report and how to improve policy implementation.  

    Read more about our impact work. 

  • New Feature

    Partner with the HE Commission

    Following the success of the Commission's Degree Apprenticeships and Staying Ahead reports the Commission is looking for sponsors for a new research project.

    If your organisation would be interested in partnering with Policy Connect to support the HE Commission's research then get in touch with


  • New Feature

    Policy Win: Government adopts headline recommendations from HE Commission report

    A new joint strategy paper from the Departments for Education and International Trade has set an ambition to increase education exports to £35 billion and grow international HE student numbers to 600,000 by 2030. 

    Read more about our policy win.

  • New Feature

    HE Commission Launches Findings of Degree Apprenticeships Report

    Findings have been released by the Higher Education Commission which show that degree apprenticeships may be good in theory but they’re not delivering for small employers or disadvantaged students. This is despite over 99% of UK businesses being SMEs and previous government commitments to providing a ‘head start’ for young people.

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  • New Feature

    Chris Skidmore MP hosts navigational session for HEC's latest inquiry

    The Higher Education Commission begins scoping work for new inquiry into university research and regional inequalities.

    Following the announcement that the Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, the former Universities Minister, would chair the Commission’s latest inquiry into university research and regional inequalities, Policy Connect convened Commissioners and experts to discuss next steps. 

    The roundtable began with a presentation from Professor Richard Jones of the University of Manchester on the findings from Nesta’s 'The Missing £4bn' report about regional disparities in Research and Development investment. This was followed by a discussion between Commission members, vice chancellors and representatives from LEPs, catapult centres, employers, and government officials.  

    • While the project scope is still to be finalised the Commission are seeking to explore:
    • How can universities use their research work to contribute to the government’s levelling-up agenda?
    • What actions should the government take to support universities with this work?
    • What is the existing infrastructure around awarding of research funding, and how could this be utilised to ensure that funding benefits the receiving institution’s local or regional area or community?
    • What examples are there of existing programmes and schemes which enable universities to work with businesses and other stakeholders in a way which benefits the local/regional area?

    The Commission will launch this inquiry in the New Year with a public call for evidence, roundtables and interviews. The final inquiry report will offer recommendations to government, funding bodies, local partners, universities, businesses, and sector bodies and agencies.  

    Sign-up to our newsletter for inquiry updates.

The Higher Education Commission is an independent body made up of leaders from the education sector, the business community and the major political parties. The Commission examines higher education policy, holds evidence-based inquiries, and produces written reports with recommendations for policymakers.

The Higher Education Commission is sponsored by: 

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Jisc University Partnership Programme