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University chiefs discuss the state of Higher Education

Date 5.10.2021

Leading figures from Higher Education will converge for a radio show hosted by the University of Northampton’s Vice Chancellor.

Leading HE commentator, and former head of UCAS, Mary Curnock Cook is the special guest on Professor Nick Petford’s Shout To The Top programme, which airs on NLive Radio, on Wednesday evening.

In her interview, Mary looks at the opportunities and risks facing universities, post-pandemic.

She said: “We are all waiting for the autumn Comprehensive Spending Review and anticipating the Government will be changing the way that Higher Education is funded. It might mean there’s less money per student or a cap on the number of students universities can take coming back into force.

“I also think we might see a slow burn towards universities focussing even more on more engaging online teaching. The traditional model of students moving away from home to study for three years might decline over the next few years, in part due to the cost, so embracing technology will be key for universities.”

Mary also reveals what made her change her mind on the often-mooted switch to post-qualification admissions in Higher Education, which would see would-be students in the UK apply for courses after, rather than before, they’ve received their grades.

She will also tell listeners why she didn’t go to university when she left school, and why having as many people as possible benefiting from Higher Education is a good thing. Mary said: “The economic evidence from countries around the world is that those which have a high proportion of people who go to university do better in all sorts of measures.”

The show will also feature appearances from Universities UK CEO and president, Alistair Jarvis and Professor Steve West, respectively, who will be talking about a range of issues from climate change to pensions. Director of think tank Higher Education Policy Institute, Nick Hillman, and Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association CEO, Raj Jethwa, will also be discussing the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review and what industrial relations may hold in the coming academic year. The University of Northampton’s Students’ Union will also be represented by Beth Garrett, who is Vice President for Education.

Shout To The Top airs between 7pm and 9pm on the first Wednesday of every month, on NLive Radio. Listen via the website – or if you are in Northampton, on 106.9FM. The show is also available as a podcast on iTunes, Spotify and other platforms.