Higher Education

Higher Education

Improving education and developing skills for all are vital to a prosperous central South. SPC specialises in improving public policy making in these areas and has worked closely with Higher Education institutions, schools, local authorities, employers and Local Enterprise Partnerships to address key issues:

  1. Why are significantly less than expected young people going to university in areas across the south, and how do you tackle this local differentiation?
  2. How do you address skills shortages within the mature (post-education) population?
  3. What powers do public bodies need to boost skill levels in the region?
  4. How do you plan skills development in the fast paced global marketplace of the 21st century?

Can Graduates fuel recovery in the central South?

In a report published earlier this month the Resolution Foundation argued that one consequence of economic recession is the challenge those leaving full time education will face in finding jobs.[i] The ‘lockdown’ in response to the threat of the Covid-19 virus is pushing the UK into one of the deepest recessions we have seen for many years,[ii] and the Foundation suggest that up to 640,000 under 25s could face unemployment. The Institute of Student Employers found that by early May…

Civic Universities and the central South

Dr Simon Eden There is a lively discussion about the role our universities have in the towns and cities they are part of. As local authorities and other public bodies are forced to cut back, so institutions like universities become more important in civic life. At the same time, Ministers have cautioned against “universities becoming disconnected from the wider world… [and] …seen as distant from their communities” (Sam Gyimah, Universities Minister, September 2018). Universities are of course educators, but they’re…

Retaining graduates from the central South’s universities

Home, here or London?

Retaining graduates from the central South’s universities. Both authors frequently hear the refrain ‘we must retain more of our graduates’ at meetings and seminars on the local economy.This report, commissioned by Willmott Dixon, explores the retention of graduates from the central South’s universities in our economy and examines the challenges the region faces in recruiting and retaining these graduates. Graduates are a valuable resource to the economy.They bring new skills, fresh perspectives and a willingness to question established approaches.1 The…

Localised Widening Participation Strategies – a data-based approach

The results of a year-long study by the Southern Policy Centre, supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and GuildHE. The study has used ‘open data’, and data held by local councils, to explore why able young people may miss out on university. The data has been used to suggest possible local widening participation strategies.

Widening participation in Higher Education

New study sheds light on why Southern students miss out on university Over 50 young people every year are missing out on university from just five local government wards in Poole, Hampshire, Southampton, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth. And over 100 more should be going to university, according to Government targets. These stark figures were at the centre of a ground-breaking conference being held at Southampton Solent University on Friday 28th October. The conference heard the results of a year-long study…

Why are some areas falling behind in university participation?

SPC launches major new research project into widening participation to Higher Education The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) have produced and published a set of analysis that looks into trends in HE. In particular their statistics on young participation show that there are unexplained gaps in levels of participation from area to area. The Southern Policy Centre have been commissioned by HEFCE to look more closely at five local authority wards in southern England. We want to know: Whether…

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