Pressure is mounting on colleges and universities to encourage all eligible students to register to vote by the registration deadline of November 26 next week. The National Union of Students is running a “Got 5?” voter registration campaign, which refers to the short five minutes it takes for students to register to vote online. The Guardian reports that some university lecturers are allowing students five minutes at the start of lectures to register. The Office for Students says recent legislation now requires all educational institutions to assist students in voter registration.
Latest data from UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) shows colleges are getting a higher proportion of their students on to degree courses than grammar schools, reports TES. Statistics reveal successful FE applicants aiming for HE places in 2018-19 made up 83.8% of total college applications, opposed to the grammar school equivalent of 82.5%. The figure for sixth form colleges was 87.6%, just behind academies with 87.8%. The FE success rate has proportionally risen the most during the past decade compared with levels achieved by all other school-age mainstream institutions, including independents.
Around 44% of FE and HE staff are anxious about job security, according to research by the trade union Unison, TES reports. Survey respondents were heavily in favour of additional training that had helped stave off the threat of redundancy. Unison says workers have made it clear they need more training and want to “put in the hard work to improve their chances of avoiding redundancy and securing promotion”. The survey highlights how austerity cuts have made employers reluctant to invest, and suggests without adequate lifelong learning opportunities Britain’s growing skills gap will not be plugged.
More than 50 FE and HE leaders have kicked off the sectors’ joint climate campaign by meeting for the first time under the newly formed Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education students and leaders. Leaders have agreed to set up an ambitious, fast-moving programme, involving instant low-cost and positive impact initiatives along with medium- and longer-term plans. A key goal is to impress on the government the clout colleges and universities want to use to promote urgent climate reform, backed by over five million students and a combined £44bn turnover. A blueprint for change is now being prepared for review in the new year. Rather than being a top-down initiative, the commission stresses that student participation and the ‘youth voice’ will be paramount at all times.