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AUTUMN

7th October


smugness of those institutions. ‘Top universities’ know they will be oversubscribed because the government has limited the number of places as a consequence of the cost of the student loans scheme. The result is the institutions she listed don’t have to try so hard.

After reflecting on what she said, I replied: “One of the few good things that has resulted from the all changes imposed by the government is that we are having to prioritise the student experience and value teaching more than we did in the past.” For institutions in what is being referred to as the ‘squeezed middle’ our future depends on giving students a better value experience. I hear myself say “perhaps, that is why there is so much at stake for us and why days like today matter”. Looking up I noticed that the parents in the tiered seats are hanging on every word of the conversation. Perhaps for some of them the ‘brand value’ of a degree will start to matter less than what students experience in the classroom.

At dinner that night I asked my daughter what she had learned from the numerous university open days she has attended. She replied: “Well, your whole impression of a University can be transformed by just one good experience”. It focuses the mind to think that every member of faculty and staff has that power within their gift on Open Day.

 


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25 October