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Alastair Sim: Higher education must remain central

The seventh of May was an extraordinary night. A Conservative majority in Westminster and a landslide victory of 56 SNP MPs means the next five years promises to be anything but dull. Universities Scotland congratulates every Scottish MP, new and returned, and the SNP on achieving such a remarkable result. As higher education is almost…

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Pete Downes: There are big risks in tying universities up in red tape

In the rush to get things done, sometimes the best approach is to pause, take a step back and revisit what it is you are hoping to achieve. The responses to the Scottish Government’s consultation on higher education governance legislation are a clear indication that the Scottish Government should do exactly that. They make for…

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Alastair Sim: Life as an academic

Scotland’s higher education sector already has it right on democratic approach to management/union relations, writes Alastair Sim. I was surprised to read the results of a YouGov poll last month that found more people across Britain wanted to be a university academic than a TV presenter, interior designer or Hollywood star. The role of academic was…

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Much to toast in the research record of our universities

It’s a big day for thousands of Scotland’s academics. It’s also a big day for Scotland. For the first time since 2008, all the best academic research in the UK has been independently evaluated. Scotland has performed outstandingly well with over three-quarters of all research submitted judged as being world-leading or internationally excellent. This is…

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Alastair Sim: UCAS admissions data commentary

“When it comes to admissions, student behaviour has been impossible to predict this year given the vast scale of changes to student fees and finance across the UK and greater-than-ever divergence between the nations when it comes to fees. “UCAS’s comprehensive end-of-year analysis, which runs to over 60 pages, aims to shed some light on…

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