YEY! It’s that time of year again, and even before I pull of the list, I know it’s going to be a dismal set of scores for my 2015 predictions. Not even a hefty dose of grade inflation can rescue me this year!
So lets start with HE:
1) there will be no HE Bill (again!).
2) Labour will downgrade its £6k fee pledge to an ‘aspiration’.
They didn’t, despite the best efforts of UUK and (more interestingly Ed Balls).
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.
Oh very dear! I’m going to give myself half a point for this, but my political antenna were seriously off about the Lib Dem influence.
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.
It’s happening, but very little public controversy.
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.
It did and there was.
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.
Hmmmm, I’m not entirely sure how to score this. HEFCE seem intent on pressing ahead with the reforms, but seem to facing more difficulty with the Department than from the sector. Half a point.
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.
Nope. But it was nice to have that little bit of hope for a moment!
9) At least one university will have to close or merge to make ends meet.
Hasn’t happened either. I might stop predicting this!
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.
Oh, beloved MOOCs, the avalanche has turned into more of a steady drip. There’s still an army of deluded enthusiasts out there who will argue that MOOCs are bringing about a revolution. They are not, they are a good and useful development, helping universities extend their reach, but nothing has fundamentally changed. (But there’s always 2016 . . .)
So, I give myself 6 out of 10! Scraped a 2:1, splendid.