TEFS is about equality of opportunity for all students regardless of background, gender, disability or race.
University: UK: Access: Social Mobility: Government: Fairness: Equality: Equity: College: School: Education: Higher Education: Further Education
The current Department of Education review appears to address policy relating to England only since education is devolved in the other UK jurisdictions. However the priorities and case presented here applies equally to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
There are TWO
priorities highlighted in this submission. They are proposed as the foundation
upon which any policy change is made and how its effectiveness is assessed. They
are related to the fairness of the post-18 education provision and the
independence of the data that underpins the assessment of fairness and any cost-benefit
analysis arising. In making change it is also essential that the policies are planned
in the longer-term so that students and their families can plan effectively
well into the future.
1.That equality of opportunity for all students in their
studies is always ensured and that this principle is the foundation for ALL decisions made regarding access,
financing and delivery of courses. This impacts fair access, support whilst a
student is studying and equitable value for money related to any financial
burden and/or debt incurred. One suggestion is that the resource of study time is placed top of the list of
resources that should be equalised for all students. With this principle at the
base all other factors can be adjusted accordingly.
2.That the data gathering that underpins policy decisions
and associated cost- benefit analysis is designed to effectively assess equality
of opportunity for students. This should be reviewed as part of a process of ensuring
effectiveness of policies and associated cost-benefit analysis.It should be conducted completely independently
of the institutions concerned
Before designing any funding system it must start with
consideration of the individual student and work from that point. Three principles in seeking a fair and equal education of high
quality might be:
Every university provides defined, rigorous and testing degree programmes that
offer access to the full expertise of the most experienced staff. This would to
some extent reverse the expansion of short-term contract staff that have
supported the expansion in student numbers in favour expanding of long-term
Every student has the same access to time and resources to carry out their
studies regardless of background. In making policy, the particular emphasis
should be on ensuring that every student has the same time available for their
studies. This would be the basis for assessing value for the money invested by
the student, their families and the tax payer.
3. The data that supports the policies should
relate to the individual student. That data should be gathered by a body that
is free from commercial influences and also entirely independent of the
institutions it is observing.
To achieve these goals, it will be
necessary to create a means tested funding system. This would be composed of two
elements that ensure an equitable balance between contributions from the tax
payer and from the students and families.
1)Universities would receive from fees and government a flat rate of
funding per student related to the amount of resource they devote to teaching
in each area. This may vary according to the cost of the subject and the
projected need for students in areas of shortage. Fees and loans would be means
tested with the most disadvantaged students not paying fees. In effect these
would be partly subsidised by the tax payer.
2)All students would be expected to devote the same amount of time
to their degree studies.Each individual
student would generate a study plan that demonstrated this was possible and the
expectation would be that more rigorous standards were imposed by the
institutions in return. A mixture of grants that were means tested and loans
would be available to ensure that this was possible in all cases.
This would move closer to the
ideals of Robins 1963 who noted that:“Courses of higher education
should be available for all those who are qualified by ability and attainment
to pursue them and who wish to do so.”
UPDATE 8th August 2020 Things are moving fast today with severe criticism mounting about Ofqual and SQA, and urgent action is needed. TEFS has laid out ten points that should be considered to reverse out of the crumbling mess. Fairness should replace 'maintaining standards' as the primary objective. The government must cease trying to defend a system that acts as a barrier to the less advantaged. Since posting yesterday, things have been moving fast. Today the Guardian put the examinations issue in large print on its front page with ‘Nearly 40% of A-level result predictions to be downgraded in England’ . This conclusion came about after some great detective work by former medical statistician, Huy Duong, who analysed the data available and reconciled this with the Ofqual announcement that there could have been a 12% inflation in higher grades. It seems that Ofqual have been caught red handed and "Duong’s findings were privately confirmed to the Guardian by ex
This week confirmed beyond any doubt that Ofqual is pointing the finger of blame for the public examinations chaos this summer firmly at the government and its ministers. The positions of Schools Minister, Nick Gibb and Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson must be on the line. When Williamson is confronted by the Education Committee next week, like Momus he may find his mask has slipped and cannot lay blame anywhere else. He might be meeting his Nemesis and find he is expelled from his lofty position. Called to account. On Wednesday morning, Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, Education Permanent Secretary, Susan Acland-Hood, and Director for Qualifications, Michelle Dyson, will be called to account by the Education Committee. With the redoubtable Robert Halfon in the chair, they will face a hard time. This is because Halfon and his colleagues will be armed with more documentary evidence from Ofqual and others that look bad for both ministers. All of the correspo
UPDATE: Augar Speaks out Today, Friday 8th May 2020, Philip Augar broke cover and commented on the financial crisis in our universities in the Financial Times. With ' The time is ripe to reform UK university finance' he acknowledged that "Covid-19-related disruption may now mean that such a fee cut would be too destabilising" . He is looking to a new post-COVID-19 world and he must be listened to. The likelihood of the government's response to his report last year diverging far from its recommendations looms. Augar has offered alternative options for funding Universities in his article for the Financial Times today (8th May 2020). His input is welcome at this time and the government should be bringing him into the fold again. TEFS has argued for a comprehensive review of university finances that goes well beyond simply looking at students and fees with: "Therefore, a working group involving students (such as NUS), staff (such as UCU) universi