Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
The Ayatollah Buggeri

Report On The Financial Health Of The Higher Education System

Recommended Posts

See attached. You will need Acrobat (or reader) version 10 - the latest. This is because the file as originally emailed to me was too big to upload here, and the only way I could make it small enough to fit within the file size limit was to save it as a reduced size PDF, comptible only with Acrobat 10. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The headlines that jumped out at me were:

1. The Russells will be able to charge £9k fees, but most of the others will have to lower their fees to stay 'in business'.

2. Arts and social sciences courses in the lower ranking universities will be hardest hit (see p. 11), because HEFCE cash will be concentrated in STEM subjects and 'the smaller music and arts conservatories'.

3. The era of Chinese TPG students being cash cows is about to end (p. 12).

4. The case studies on page 17 are interesting, but I have a hard time believing that someone on £70k by age 34 can be described as a 'middle earner' (Tom)! The Janet case study is interesting, though, and I can confirm that a lot of the modern history UGs and MAs I teach end up as Janets. The conclusion is that they're never going to pay back their entire debt anyway, that the difference between £6k and £9k fees won't make any difference to that calculation, and thus that they're going to do university at all, they might as well make it a good one.

HE_Financial_health_Aug11.pdf

HE_Financial_health_Aug11.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See attached. You will need Acrobat (or reader) version 10 - the latest. This is because the file as originally emailed to me was too big to upload here, and the only way I could make it small enough to fit within the file size limit was to save it as a reduced size PDF, comptible only with Acrobat 10. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The headlines that jumped out at me were:

1. The Russells will be able to charge £9k fees, but most of the others will have to lower their fees to stay 'in business'.

2. Arts and social sciences courses in the lower ranking universities will be hardest hit (see p. 11), because HEFCE cash will be concentrated in STEM subjects and 'the smaller music and arts conservatories'.

3. The era of Chinese TPG students being cash cows is about to end (p. 12).

4. The case studies on page 17 are interesting, but I have a hard time believing that someone on £70k by age 34 can be described as a 'middle earner' (Tom)! The Janet case study is interesting, though, and I can confirm that a lot of the modern history UGs and MAs I teach end up as Janets. The conclusion is that they're never going to pay back their entire debt anyway, that the difference between £6k and £9k fees won't make any difference to that calculation, and thus that they're going to do university at all, they might as well make it a good one.

First thought is the 'lowest earner' starts on 28k at 22?!!?!?!?!?! (and doesn't even pay all the debt back!) On what planet is this? I'd be thrilled to land a job paying £1 an hour above minimum wage let alone above the average wage.

ETA: Would love to see their figures with someone starting on a more realistic 14k.

Edited by rented

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First thought is the 'lowest earner' starts on 28k at 22?!!?!?!?!?! (and doesn't even pay all the debt back!) On what planet is this? I'd be thrilled to land a job paying £1 an hour above minimum wage let alone above the average wage.

ETA: Would love to see their figures with someone starting on a more realistic 14k.

Thanks for link Ayatollah, that's interesting. I used to work in HE. I wonder how my old department will get on when the Chinese students supply dries up.

Agree absolutely about the wildly overoptimistic case studies. Janet has done pretty well for herself in landing a 28k job straight after her journalism course and then seeing her salary rise consistently. As for the civil servant, he's a high flier, not typical at all, and in the real world his salary isn't going to go up every year forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The John figures are a bogus.

I'd like to see some real world figures for graduates from over the last 10 years.

I know the fees have been forced on the HEs but I wonder how much the HEs have thought through whats involved with charging individuals directly?

When I was at Uni there were always a couple of courses every year that just missed the mark i.e bad lecturer, not equipped etc.

In those days that situation was let go - not my money heyho that's life type thing.

However if I was paying my own money - never mind own BORROWED money I would really kick up a fuss and push for a refund.

Do the HEs know what they are letting themselves in for?

Do they really believe ALL their courses and ALL lecturers and ALL their facilities are worth the money?

I'm guessing the OU is probably the only HE organisation that comes close to having an active QA and review process.

Not that I have any inside information, just that the OU has had 40 years of dealing with older students paying their own money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing this report doesn't mention is that immediately after £9k fees are introduced, there is a REF (Research Excellence Framework assessment - end of 2012) exercise. So the Russells are going to be under pressure from both ends: treating students as customers to a greater extent than ever before, while also giving academics the space to deliver research goods. Three people in my department (myself included) have had research leave 'postponed' over the last couple of years to plug teaching gaps caused by illness, maternity leave and an unexpected departure caused by the sudden death of a colleague who carried a high teaching load. In my case this has made it touch and go as to whether I'm going to have my currently in progress monogrgaph published by the REF deadline, and if there is any hint of my career suffering as a result I will be ramming the cancelled research leave down the management's collective throat, as will my colleagues.

These two things happening more or less simultaneously is going to cause major problems, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing this report doesn't mention is that immediately after £9k fees are introduced, there is a REF (Research Excellence Framework assessment - end of 2012) exercise. So the Russells are going to be under pressure from both ends: treating students as customers to a greater extent than ever before, while also giving academics the space to deliver research goods. Three people in my department (myself included) have had research leave 'postponed' over the last couple of years to plug teaching gaps caused by illness, maternity leave and an unexpected departure caused by the sudden death of a colleague who carried a high teaching load. In my case this has made it touch and go as to whether I'm going to have my currently in progress monogrgaph published by the REF deadline, and if there is any hint of my career suffering as a result I will be ramming the cancelled research leave down the management's collective throat, as will my colleagues.

These two things happening more or less simultaneously is going to cause major problems, IMO.

That's the Academic elephant in the room.

Do HE's provide undergraduate teaching or research?

A UG would say put the money to into teaching.

An academic would probably favour research.

Welcome to the real world of mutually exclusive priorities!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The John figures are a bogus.

I'd like to see some real world figures for graduates from over the last 10 years.

The John example is probably closest to mine and I would imagine most of my friends, although not sure about the 3.5% each year forever.

I'd describe myself as a middle earner. The report was written by a firm of accountants remember - thats what they consider to be a middle earner.

Left uni (russell group) graduate job 1997 on £17k

Was earning £35k by 2000

Was earning £50k by 2003

Was earning £85k by 2006.

Hasn't really increased since then - mainly as I changed to a less demanding job when I had kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing this report doesn't mention is that immediately after £9k fees are introduced, there is a REF (Research Excellence Framework assessment - end of 2012) exercise. So the Russells are going to be under pressure from both ends: treating students as customers to a greater extent than ever before, while also giving academics the space to deliver research goods. Three people in my department (myself included) have had research leave 'postponed' over the last couple of years to plug teaching gaps caused by illness, maternity leave and an unexpected departure caused by the sudden death of a colleague who carried a high teaching load. In my case this has made it touch and go as to whether I'm going to have my currently in progress monogrgaph published by the REF deadline, and if there is any hint of my career suffering as a result I will be ramming the cancelled research leave down the management's collective throat, as will my colleagues.

These two things happening more or less simultaneously is going to cause major problems, IMO.

Good luck with the monograph.

I'm feeling happy to be out of it at the moment, having seen the REF proposals to punish women who've taken maternity leave (you only get a reduction in outputs if you've had more than 14 months, so people I know who've had 2 kids in the last 5 years are being expected to produce as much research as people who haven't lost any time at all.) Which ironically will particularly penalise the women who try to minimise the effect on their colleagues by taking as little maternity leave as possible for each child.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the Academic elephant in the room.

Do HE's provide undergraduate teaching or research?

A UG would say put the money to into teaching.

An academic would probably favour research.

Welcome to the real world of mutually exclusive priorities!

If teaching isnt up too it then the student will sue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See attached. You will need Acrobat (or reader) version 10 - the latest.

Erm, I don't have any version of Acrobat: far too much bloat and hassle. So I took a look, and it displays just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an HPC perspective, it is communities of students (and staff) in this 'middle rank' of universities who will likely suffer most. So house price falls near Brunel, Bangor, Dundee more likely? Student HMO BTL'ers beware!

Our view is that it will be the ‘squeezed middle’ rank of universities who will be most likely to be affected by the reduction in student numbers. These institutions depend more heavily on students from the local region, and may not attract students on a national scale, particularly if they are unable to offer any specific differentiation from other institutions in the secto

This statement above meets my view of how HE will change. The Russell group unis will still attract £9k fee paying students from around the UK and Europe. The lower ranking ones will adapt quickly - they will jetison courses, research infrastructure, even campuses (where across several sites) to become lean and marketable - for example they can modify their teaching methods (switch to evenings, increase staff-student contact time) to be highly-student focussed.

It will be the middle ranking unis, uncertain whether to keep those expensive life science research labs, unwilling to drop their final year choice of modules, and expecting both high quality teaching and research output from staff, who will not be able to cope. In my local city, all priced at £9k per annum :

Russell Group - Uni of Liverpool - business as usual next year. Little strategy changes

Mid-ranking established - Liverpool John Moores Uni - planning to keep teaching and research as it is. May well struggle at both.

Post-92 - Liverpool Hope Uni - Lots of staff changes. Focus on teaching only. Set to concentrate on tutorial-based learning with high contact time and student support.

I can see Liverpool (national, research and teaching) and Liverpool Hope (local, teaching only) being viable. John Moores needs to get some focus and specialism. There is also Edge Hill University , but I have left this out, as it is highly specialised teacher training and I'm not sure how it is run/funded now or in the future.

Edited by Diet Cola Addict

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm feeling happy to be out of it at the moment, having seen the REF proposals to punish women who've taken maternity leave (you only get a reduction in outputs if you've had more than 14 months, so people I know who've had 2 kids in the last 5 years are being expected to produce as much research as people who haven't lost any time at all.) Which ironically will particularly penalise the women who try to minimise the effect on their colleagues by taking as little maternity leave as possible for each child.

Maternity leave is a virtually insoluble problem in many cases. Whereas you can find another doctor, lawyer, bus driver or temporary replacement in any profession that has a pool of tens of thousands, try finding someone to teach a core module on historiography plus options on diplomatic relations between France and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the mid c19 and the Schleswig-Holstein Question plus some guest teaching in the School of Modern Languages (must be a fluent Faroese and Icelandic speaker), and you're going to be in trouble. The chances are that you will need to get someone from the other end of the country, and they won't be willing to move for a nine-month contract. So the mother's colleagues basically have to cover for her, an option or two has to be cancelled (thereby p!ssing off students) and the additional workload pressure ripples right through the department.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maternity leave is a virtually insoluble problem in many cases.

My director of studies sprogged during my undergrad time. Didn't stop her doing her duties: we (her students) of course understood that she had a priority commitment and her duties to us had to fit around that, rather than vice versa. No problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maternity leave is a virtually insoluble problem in many cases. Whereas you can find another doctor, lawyer, bus driver or temporary replacement in any profession that has a pool of tens of thousands, try finding someone to teach a core module on historiography plus options on diplomatic relations between France and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the mid c19 and the Schleswig-Holstein Question plus some guest teaching in the School of Modern Languages (must be a fluent Faroese and Icelandic speaker), and you're going to be in trouble. The chances are that you will need to get someone from the other end of the country, and they won't be willing to move for a nine-month contract. So the mother's colleagues basically have to cover for her, an option or two has to be cancelled (thereby p!ssing off students) and the additional workload pressure ripples right through the department.

It isn't usually that complicated though. I would have thought any decent history department would have a number of people who could cover the historiography.

And plenty of academics get their first teaching experience/short-term contracts through doing maternity cover.

Clearly your institution is handling it very badly if staff are being expected to do extra teaching with no quid pro quo. This sometimes happened at my old institution - the university would be saving money by not paying the member of staff while she was on leave, but the money didn't come back to the department, so the HoD would have to find a way to do it as cheaply as possible. This was unfair on the other staff and also unfair to the mother who would come back to unspoken resentment and hostility from colleagues who had had to cover. On other occasions, when the money was fed back to the dept, the HoD was delighted because it enabled him to do flexible things with a small pot of money, eg lengthen the contract of fixed-term research staff who were working on projects he felt were of strategic importance to the department.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do we find, they couldn't care a toss. They would prefer to take 100% overseas students if it meant they could charge more. And they would if they thought they could get away with it/were allowed to. Leaving many of our kids unable to get into the best courses at the best universities.

The problem is that 'our kids' are unwilling to pay what higher education costs, either up front, through their taxes or a combination thereof.

Before Blair's 50% participation policy, the number of our kids going through HE was small enough that 80% of the total cost (everything apart from a proportion of accomodation and living expenses, basically) could be met from taxation without the bill being regarded as unacceptably high, even by those who didn't go themselves. Part of the reason is that with only around 15% of the population going through HE (that was the figure when I graduated from my UG degree in the early '90s), graduate jobs really did pay significantly more and thus the graduates who took them really did make a much bigger tax contribution. As a general rule, graduates ended up being higher rate taxpayers, while most non-graduates did not (contrary to what most 'PhD from the university of life' merchants such as Alan Sugar will tell you - they were very much the exception that proved the rule).

The result of Blair's HE expansion is that, as has been asserted and argued to death on previous academia-bashing threads on this site, jobs that previously did not call for a degree as an entry qualification now do. You can also argue to death whether or not there is any economic or social advantage in putting graduates into these jobs, but what Blair didn't realise is that while you can create a fourfold increase in the number of university places basically by throwing borrowed money at the system, you cannot create a fourfold increase in the number of private sector careers that pay double the national average salary by the time a typical worker reaches middle age by this method.

So, our kids regard the value of their degree as less, and are willing to pay less for it. Increases in real-terms public money for the system is politically unacceptable, as is 20k fees - to our kids. The latter is perfectly acceptable to the Chinese nouveau riche, however, and therefore UK HEIs are taking their money, not because they have anything against our kids, but because they are forced into doing so, largely by their parents' political choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The example I gave was a bit of an exaggeration (it's actually a conflation of the specialisms of myself and a close colleague), but not too far off the mark. You can get lucky - newly qualified PhD in the area who, with a bit of tweaking and temporarily parking an option or two for an AY, is willing and able to do the job. But I have been in situations where it's simply impossible to recruit appropriately qualified cover.

Clearly your institution is handling it very badly if staff are being expected to do extra teaching with no quid pro quo. This sometimes happened at my old institution - the university would be saving money by not paying the member of staff while she was on leave...

My institution's policy is to pay their full-time, normal wage (as if they were there in the building) for nine-months of maternity leave, and to offer an unpaid leave of absence until the start of the academic year following the end of that nine months if they want it. So the department's staff bill is not reducing for those nine months - on the contrary, it increases if they buy in cover. Unlike in the previous institution I taught at, maternity leave pay does not come out of a central university budget - departments have to foot that bill. That to me is also a problem, because, frankly, good luck being appointed to my department if you're a woman aged between newly qualified PhD and mid-40s (my HoD has said as much off the record, and she's a woman with two kids herself).

So you've got a combination of

A. Mothers being entitled to a far more generous maternity leave settlement than the statutory pay offered by most other places.

B. If she has the baby in October-December, she can be away for up to two years. In my experience, many actually do take this option.

C. The cost falls on invididual departments, who also make hiring decisions, which is bad news for women in their 20s and 30s trying to establish an academic career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of the reason is that with only around 15% of the population going through HE (that was the figure when I graduated from my UG degree in the early '90s), graduate jobs really did pay significantly more and thus the graduates who took them really did make a much bigger tax contribution.

You sure about that?

I think that might have been true for graduates up till the about mid 70s.

I think that about 20% of the population was going thru HE in the 90s.

Even then I think the split between arts/hum to law/science/maths/eng was about 70/30.

I graduated in 90.

I can only speak for the private sector but the whole graduate milk round died a death in the early 90s recession.

A major factor of that was de-layering of companies - mainly by a combination of technology and mass redundancies.

I was sponsored during my degrees so did the whole summer job - 'meeting my guys' type thing. By 91 most of 'the guys' had been laid off.

I remember multiple people coming up to my at social do's and saying a combination of

1) They've never made anyone redundant (mainly by having ~ 40% of contractors to absorb the troughs)

2) Job for life.

3) Great pension.

And it was - til about 91ish.

I guess the public sector is getting this 20 years later than everyone else - and for the same reasons - lack of money.

Anyhow, I digress, the point is that demand for non specific/skilled graduates in the private sector died long ago - say 1980.

Brown + Blair propped up demand 2000->2010. This has now ended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That to me is also a problem, because, frankly, good luck being appointed to my department if you're a woman aged between newly qualified PhD and mid-40s (my HoD has said as much off the record, and she's a woman with two kids herself).

Same goes in the private sector.

Its fine if its low skilled job that can be exchanged but a different thing when the person has a rare, hard to find skill set.

And again, who pays for it. If its the government than companies will work around it.

If its the company then that man looks a much bigger fit than 20-40 woman.

The maternity leave is just another example of Labour giving other peoples money away and not thinking thru the consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 338 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.