Policy Update – April 2022

Sharon Witherspoon MBE FAcSS, Head of Policy, Academy of Social Sciences 

AcSS response to Office for Students’ policy proposals on regulating student outcomes

AcSS has now published its response to the Office for Students (OfS) policy proposals for addressing quality and value for university courses, and ongoing discussions about what they would mean.  Our response focusses on the employment outcome measures, covering issues of principle, technicalities and links to other policy aims.

The plan is for OfS to use employability metrics from autumn 2022.  So university social science leaders will want to engage with the continuation, completion and employability evidence about each social science course within their own HEI.

Responding to Augar

The government has now given its response to the Augar recommendations in the form of two consultations.  The Academy will be responding to the second, which covers issues such as potential student number caps for particular subjects, minimum entry requirements, changes to Foundation Years funding and provision, as well as a discussion of vocational education.  It is unclear whether the announcement of an additional £900m for strategic priorities and teaching infrastructure will include social science infrastructure, such as data labs and support for survey infrastructure. AcSS Fellows should ensure their universities consider the implications for the social sciences in their responses.

Social Science in Time of Change project

We are continuing to work on the Social Science in a Time of Change project, funded by the ESRC.  It is collecting evidence about the last two years, but also uncovering some evidence to help us look forward.  Many thanks to all those taking part.

Contact us

Write to policy@acss.org.uk and let us know if you have suggestions or ideas about our message, or to suggest future topics we should explore.