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Education in the Media: Tuesday 12 February 2019

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: A Level, Vice chancellor pay


Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at A Levels and the latest report from the Office for Students.

A Levels

Today, Tuesday 12 February, the Royal Society issued a press release based on a speech by the society’s president, Venki Ramakrishnan. This was reported by the Independent, the Times, the Sun and the Metro.

A DfE spokesperson said:

Our world class A Levels were designed with direct input from subject experts and universities to ensure young people leave school with the knowledge and skills they need to go on to higher education or get job.

But A Levels are not the only option for young people post-16. We are transforming technical education so there are range of high quality choices on offer. This includes our new high quality apprenticeships developed directly with employers so that young people gain the skills they demand.

We are also introducing new T Levels from September 2020 – the technical equivalent to A Levels –designed with over 200 leading employers so that they meet the needs of industry and students are learning the skills and getting the experience needed to land a great job in a skilled profession, go onto a higher level apprenticeship or university.

Vice Chancellor Pay

Today, the Office for Students released its report on the pay packages of senior staff at OfS funded providers. This has been covered so far by BBC Online and the Financial Times.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

While universities are autonomous institutions, around 45% of English institutions’ income in 2016/17 came through upfront public funding, so they are rightly subject to public scrutiny.

Of course salaries need to be competitive, but high pay must be justified by high performance on objectives such as widening participation for disadvantaged groups, low dropout rates, growing export earnings and pioneering innovative research.

We set up the Office for Students to look out for students’ interests and it is absolutely right that the OfS demands greater transparency from universities by requiring them to justify the pay and benefits of their vice chancellors. We have given the OfS powers to take action if universities do not do this and we expect them to be used where necessary.

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