Yorkshire Universities appoints new Executive Director

Dr Peter O’Brien has been named as the new Executive Director of YU, the membership association representing all 12 higher education institutions in Yorkshire.

A local and regional development specialist, Dr O’Brien joined YU as an associate in 2017 and has made a significant contribution to the economic development and place-based leadership work of YU ever since.

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International students: economic and social impact

The commission to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) specifies a series of themes on which the government would like advice under the broad framework of the economic and social impacts of international students in the UK. As well as considering the overall impact, evidence and advice is being sought on the following: the impact of tuition fees and other spending by international students on the national, regional and local economy and on the education sector.

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Office for Students Draft Regulatory Framework

In October 2017, the Department for Education (DfE), on behalf of the Office for Students (OfS), launched a formal consultation on a new Regulatory Framework (RF) for the HE sector. The consultation will inform the approach taken by the OfS in its new regulatory role, enacting legislation laid out in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017.2

On 29 November 2017, the YU Board (comprising the region’s vice-chancellors) met Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of the OfS, in Leeds. At the meeting, YU was encouraged to submit a response to the consultation and in particular to consider how the RF should reflect the importance of ‘place’. This dimension has been given added significance following the publication of the Industrial Strategy White Paper. The YU response is designed to complement individual HE institution submissions and those made by national-level HEI membership bodies.

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Industrial Strategy White Paper: Building a Britain fit for the future?

So, ten months after the government trailed its set of initial ideas for a ‘new’ approach to industrial policy in the UK, the long-awaited Industrial Strategy White Paper has been published today. In seeking to navigate a course through the choppy waters of an uncertain Brexit, diminishing productivity and widening regional and local economic disparities, the White Paper is, to some extent, seeking to lay out a long-term framework for building on some of the opportunities and addressing some of the structural economic challenges facing the UK.

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Digital Storytelling for ‘hard to reach’ students

Digital storytelling can be a powerful tool for capturing student voices, especially those which seek to challenge a norm or prevailing culture. They can raise awareness of the differences experienced by students pre-HE, through transition and induction, on feelings of confidence, and of the challenges faced in retention and progression.

These stories have been produced as part of a joint project between the University of Huddersfield, the University of York, the University of Leeds, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Leeds Beckett University working with Yorkshire Universities and Jisc.

The project set out to showcase the experiences of students from under-represented groups. The digital stories aim to support retention and attainment by focusing on the resilience developed by students during their time in higher education and providing valuable lessons for others students and staff to draw upon.

Read more about the toolkit used for this project and watch the stories below:

Linda’s story – Managing study with a busy life

Esther’s story – Coming to university from care

Becoming a mature student

My journey to university

Alison’s Story – My Learning Journey

Naoise’s Story – My Learning Journey