I was on poor form with my 2015 predictions but, what the hell, I’m going to have another go, so here’s to HE 2015
1) there will be no HE Bill (again!).
2) Labour will downgrade its £6k fee pledge to an ‘aspiration’.
3) After the General Election, higher education will remain in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills with a Lib Dem Secretary of State (I’ll take a punt on it being David Laws) and a Conservative HE minister.
4) There will be some controversy as HEFCE, under government pressure, try to manipulate the post-REF funding formula to balance the underperformance of Northern Universities.
5) UCAS will report another bumper year for applications.
6) The pilot of the NSS will confirm that it will not be radically changed (hoorah – see here for my views on this), but there will be some sensible tweaking.
7) HEFCE’s land grab of QAA and OIA responsibilities will be halted as the sector wakes up to the fact that institutional autonomy is under threat.
8) A deal will be struck to manage concerns about international student visas. The burden of the application and entry process will be lightened in exchange for more active monitoring of where students go after they graduate.
9) At least one university will have to close or merge to make ends meet.
10) MOOCs will take hold and revolutionise Higher Education around the world; nothing will ever be the same again. Oxford and Cambridge will only recruit 2 students each as all the brightest and best around the world flock to YouTube to get an unaccredited certificate of attendance for watching 10 beautifully made films on the topic ‘Advanced Learning for Clever People’ delivered by a Professor from the University of the Flaming Sword, Utah. Employers will hail this revolution in education for the outstandingly numerate, literate and team-worky students it produces. Governments across the world will sell off universities because, well, there’s just no point any more! Parents will be so delighted that they are saving all that money that they would have spent supporting their children, that they will go on a spending spree that will shore up the global economy.
OR maybe not!! Does anybody even talk about MOOCs any more?!
Onwards . . .