The previous year was extremely unfortunate for the UK universities, as they had to endure many shocks. The scandal around vice-chancellors’ pay and the head of the University of Bath and some other incidents attracted a lot of public attention and thus gave rise to significant shifts. Universities have received a large number of accusations and criticisms, but this is just the beginning. What will happen next? What should we be prepared for?
The row with the vice-chancellor of the University of Bath and the pays of other vice-chancellors may be considered as a trigger of colossal discussions and protest of students and staff. Unbelievable stories about big bonuses, housekeepers, chauffeurs and grace-and-favor residences were able to divert attention from such as research funding or the loss of European students and staff after Brexit.
It seems that a deal on senior pay has been reached, and a new fair pay code will be introduced this year. University leaders try to bring order to their institutions before the Office for Students would start more direct regulations. Of course, some other compromising stories may take place in the near future.
Is it value for your money?
The Higher Education Policy Institute conducted the student survey, and its results showed that only 32% of students in England found their courses good value for money. This issue stays in the same line with other questions such as the quality and time of teaching or the provision of promised facilities that really should be considered by the universities. Earlier some universities were warned about claims that could mislead students and entrants.
It is expected that the universities in the UK will try to find ways to improve their financial security similar to their counterparts in the USA and become less dependent on fees or politicians. Reliable and long-term funding is something that can provide a reliable future for major UK universities.
Protection of free speech by universities is another issue that picks up a lot of discussions and critics. The universities claim that legal requirements are already met, at the same time they were accused of allowing too much free speech, in particular in the form. Besides, there is the list of sophisticated issues that covers the rise of the identity politics of race, gender, and sexuality.