This article is more than 1 year old

Wonkhe Briefings for SUs

This article is more than 1 year old

This is a briefing for Wonkhe SUs subscribers. To gain access or find out more go to the SUs page in the menu above. 

There’s a lot of material both on the main Wonkhe site and on our subsite for SUs.

If you’re searching for a subject, the first and best place to look is probably Wonkhe’s general search function via the search button at the top right hand corner of the site. You can also always email us if you want to know if we have something on an issue, or want to know where you might be able to find something either from us or another organisation.


There are a number of collections of articles, blogs and briefings which are collected by tag. You can find tags to the left hand side of most articles on the site – but some of the most popular ones are:


Students’ unions



The Post-18 “Augar” review

Higher education in Wales

Higher education in Scotland


The Teaching Excellence Framework

Fees and funding

Race and ethnicity

Access and widening participation

The regulation of higher education

We also have archives of:

The Wonkhe show podcast archive

Long reads

Beginner’s guides

And some box sets of our audio series on the “Hidden History” of higher education.

And for students’ unions:

An archive of Wonkhe SUs blogs written by and about our SU sector

An archive of our Friday morning email briefings for SUs

Blogs on the future of SUs

An archive of our webinars for SUs

Learning from the Wonkhe SUs study tour

An archive of the findings from collective SU research projects

Research on value of SUs

Do students’ unions make a difference?

Opportunity Blocked: how student opportunities and SUs relate to student life, belonging and outcomes.

Opportunity blocked summary blogs:

Students’ unions

How lonely are students?

Commuters and London

The value of SUs

Student confidence and outcomes

Getting involved

SUs Briefings archive

Every week we publish new briefings for SUs on issues of concern to students and SUs. We update this listing every month or so – for the latest briefings go here.

Covid-19 and “reopening”

Advance HE “socially distanced campus” project

Next academic year and the “structure of learning”

Inducting, socialising and engaging students in the “new normal”

Places and spaces on a socially distant campus

Student inclusion and reopening

What does Quality mean in the age of coronavirus?

Covid – student views and concerns

Now students are concerned about access to staff and facilities

How should universities be supporting international arrivals?

How do the rules on socialising and gatherings affect student groups?

Students are worried about local lockdowns

Applicants are worried about grades and what uni life will be like

Amending mental health services in light of the pandemic

Should we worry about students and money this September?

Where will students get their work done?

Young people in the time of Covid-19: a fear and hope study of 16-24 year olds

Are students getting the “absolute clarity” they were promised?

Twenty six challenges to universities over disabled students and Covid-19

What will social distancing look like for students in the autumn?

What do students say about uni efforts to minimise the spread of Covid-19?

What do students say if you ask for their ideas on September and social distancing?

Changes to courses and the issue of “consent”

Student views on Covid-19 and implications for SUs

Ten important findings about young people and education from ONS research into the impact of Covid-19

Students are keen to come back – with caveats

What are universities planning and are students still coming?

Bolton or Cambridge? Announcements on lifting lockdown tested

Will students defer or switch if September is socially distant?

How is Covid-19 impacting disabled students?

Is the penny starting to drop for students re September?

What sort of impact is the pandemic having on PGRs?

What should universities be doing for PGR students during the pandemic?

Would students be happy if next term was online?

How many students are already locked into accommodation contracts next year?

What impact is Covid-19 having on students (and what do they think of their university’s handling of it)

How confident is the Covid cohort when it comes to finding a job?

It looks like international students are desperate to defer

What are prospective students saying about universities and student support?

Digging into research on student views on Covid-19 handling

Covid-19 mitigations and deaf students

Wider Covid-19 policy issues

The restructuring regime and SUs

Are “student compacts” an answer to some of the September student questions?

Students, spring break, science and September

Are students worried about their uni going bankrupt?

There’s a briefing out on mental health and Covid-19

How to reopen universities in September

NHS Test and Trace and the major questions for students

The practicalities of a socially distant campus

What can we do about the graduate unemployment crisis that’s coming?

What bespoke support should be in place for disadvantaged students during the crisis?

It’s a small world – how contagious are university campuses?

Preparing to discuss your university’s finances

Holding meetings during the Covid-19 lockdown

As everything moves online, do you know your data rights?

What you need to know about the furloughed workers scheme

How should SUs manage risk in the current climate?Changes being made to teaching and assessment have to last beyond the lockdown

Guidance for universities on Covid-19

OIA has new guidance out on how it will approach Covid complaints

Students need detail about September – but is that possible?

DfE has published guidance on reopening universities in the autumn

QAA has guidance out on courses and assessment next year

UUK has published some principles and considerations on emerging from lockdown

QAA has published briefings on years abroad and placements

What are FE colleges being told about opening – and why might it matter for HE?

There is new guidance on student (and staff) mental health and wellbeing

QAA has guidance out on placements, years abroad and apprenticeships

QAA has guidance out on practice and lab-based assessment

QAA has guidance out on academic standards and supporting student achievement

OfS publishes guidance on teaching, assessment, student support and consumer rights during Covid-19

Key points from QAA’s guidance on Covid-19 and the student learning experience

Student rights and Covid-19: OIA on complaints during the pandemic

Coronavirus and protecting students’ interests

What are universities being advised about coronavirus and what are the implications for SUs?

Complaints, compensation and Covid-19

How policy works

What are the four classic policy goals?

(Hear the drummer) get wicked problems

An A-Z of higher education data for student officers and staff that support them

Teaching and learning

Is this the secret to improving feedback for students?

Student retention and feeling part of a community

Can the curriculum improve student happiness?

Student enterprise and entrepreneurship

Weighing up types of teaching in the student interest

Can we (and should we) measure how much students learn?

What is “socio-educational well-being” and do university classrooms affect it?

Learning through successful feedback

What do students want from assessment feedback?

Does lecture capture mean fewer students are turning up (and so what if it does?)

Do learning analytics help us spot students in trouble?

Could moderation make marking fairer and mean more consistent feedback?

What the research says about lecture capture

What do students want from library refurbs?

Timetabling, soft skills and student support: does the new “football uni” have the answers?

Can we “nudge” students towards better grades?

How are degrees calculated – and why does it matter?

A code for quality

How many students cheat – and what approaches work?

Why should I care about QAA and HESA?

What’s all the fuss about grade inflation?

Should we manage, meet, or transform student expectations?

A quick guide to qualitative data

A look at personal tutoring policies

University management, strategy and governance

It looks like casualisation is a student interest issue

What are universities doing about climate change?

How to respond to OfS’ review of admissions (and why SUs should bother)

UUK has been polling people on what they think about admissions

The fast way to understand debates about post-Brexit immigration and universities

Half of universities have made “divestment” commitments. Has yours?

Higher education, students, and a sense of place

Make me an offer – how students get recruited to universities and why it matters to SUs

Are universities a sinister cult, and can you have a “neutral” education?

It’s all coming up – ten things we think will happen next term

What (and where) on earth is TNE?

Data for the terrified- where to find facts, figures and numbers about unis

An overview of the regulatory framework for England

Where are we at on student period poverty?

What is a healthy university – and why does it matter?

Do students look at the feedback they get?

Augar is here: what do SUs need to know?

How much should my VC get paid (and should students have a say?)

Are university league tables broken?

A beginner’s guide to HESA data

Freedom of speech

Student views (and student types) on campus free speech

Should there be new law to protect debate on campus?

A legal view on “no platform” policies

Legal issues for SUs (with Wrigleys)

Workplace equality for SUs in the time of coronavirus

Knowing your DSARs from your elbow: Data subject access requests

Students unions

The Job Retention Scheme (JRS) bonus scheme

Policy Exchange proposals on SUs and freedom of speech

Does Ukraine offer lessons for UK students’ union development?

Do SUs help students pick up the skills that employers need?

Lessons for SU trustees from the Save the Children harassment investigation

What are the development needs of sabbs?

Sports teams and homophobia – still a problem?

How representative are SU officers?

SUs as charities and external advertising

What’s the secret to keeping SU staff?

What is deliberative democracy and why should SUs think about it?

What can SUs learn from Essex Uni’s antisemitism review?

Six things to bear in mind about NSS Q26

The way holiday pay is calculated is changing and it will affect students

What would an “assertive” partnership with a university look like?

Why can’t SUs campaign on whatever they like?

Need to know – the law on students’ unions

Changes to employment law

Postgraduate students

Ethnicity, the postgraduate experience and what to do about it

Should there be standards in PGR supervision?

What is it like being a PGR/PhD student in the UK?

Improving the relationship between PGR students and their supervisors

A whole bunch of extraordinary facts about postgraduate study in the UK

What about postgrads that teach?

What about postgrad student mental health?

The headlines from the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2019

The headlines you need from the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2019

Why postgraduate taught students are about to move up SUs’ priority list

PGR students and their supervisors

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2018

Charity Commission: Serious incident reporting

Charity Commission- serious incident reporting

Understanding and responding to the independent review of the TEF

Is this a turning point in the campus culture wars?

What makes a powerful SU officer, team or organisation?

New freedom of speech guidance – implications for SUs

Students and employment

What on earth is “graduate outcomes” data and why should SUs care?

Students need jobs – but what sort?

Are graduates hitting the world of work underprepared?

Students want jobs and Advance HE has a framework for that

It’s name is LEO

Misconduct and protecting students from harm

Online harassment – is reputation more important than safeguarding?

Creating conversations about sexual consent on campus

What are “romantic advances” and why might they harm students?

Staff sexual misconduct – improving students’ rights

Ten things to note in UCL’s new policy on staff student relationships

BUCS is intervening on “problem initiations”

Here’s what universities are doing about online abuse of students

What should SUs interrogate when it comes to student data?

HEPI/Youthsight research on student cybersecurity

Making staff sexual misconduct more visible

How much progress has your uni made on “changing the culture”?

Universities UK guidance on initiations at UK universities

UUK on tackling online harassment

How to respond to the Government consultation on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Nine big issues for reviews of harassment procedures

How to use the evaluation of OfS projects on student safeguarding locally

So your uni’s reviewing disciplinary procedures

Student disciplinary procedures in focus

What is Title IX and what have US universities learned?

Changing the culture – the UUK taskforce report

Student experience

Some new findings on students and belonging

What role should academics play when it comes to student mental health?

How important are friends at university to student mental health?

Student retention and feeling part of a community

Can the curriculum improve student happiness?

The Draft Building Safety Bill 2020

Has Covid-19 impacted student (and parent) financial confidence?

Understanding Erasmus

Have students and graduates lost access to the workplace?

Ten things worth knowing about private student halls in the UK

The essential findings in this year’s Student Academic Experience Survey

A major digital divide is opening up between students

Can social networks be used as an educational resource?

Why are we so negative about students “dropping out”?

Does sleep affect academic performance?

It’s a myth! Made up things about students and universities FINALLY REVEALED

How can uni and SUs bridge the gap between school/college and uni?

Are students turning to private debt to pay rent?

What about the voices of part time students

“Inappropriate influence” and the NSS

What are the benefits to “mixing people up” in halls?

How do people get on when they study more than one subject at uni?

Want better grades? Get more sleep

The type of student accommodation you live in affects your grades

Closing the gap between student expectations and reality

Are housemates the key to student wellbeing?

Ten takeaways from Advance HE’s students statistical report 2019

Students and tech – Jisc’s digital insights survey

The new realists: the 2019 HEPI/Unite Students insight report

Drinking and peer pressure

What do we know about student living costs?

Are student homes fit for habitation?

Do bursaries work?

What has Plato got to do with student rights and expectations?

Students are more skint than ever before

What can London tell us about commuter students?

What can London tell us about retaining students?

The 2019 Student Academic Experience Survey on: welfare disclosure

The 2019 Student Academic Experience Survey on: value for money

The 2019 Student Academic Experience Survey on: learning and teaching

How to read (and use) the HEPI survey results

The hits and misses from the 2019 Student Academic Experience survey

Mandatory affordability strategies

Will Hinds beat the cheats?

What happens to students if there’s “no deal”?

Supporting students and student mental health and wellbeing

What difference do “personal tutors” make – and how?

Does “mindfulness” training help with exams?

Almost half of students have had “a serious psychological issue”

Wellbeing and burnout: is it worse for medical students?

How to tackle student loneliness before term starts

Guess what: there’s a link between the academic experience and mental health

The essential guide to the Student Minds University Mental Health Charter (Part 2)

The essential guide to the Student Minds University Mental Health Charter (Part 1)

Are some subjects worse than others for student mental health?

How to embed mental health in the curriculum

How to close the student mental health attainment gap

Norman Lamb has stats on uni mental health services

Where should we start on student mental health?

What role do teaching and academic staff play in mental health strategies?

Co-producing mental health strategies with students

Inclusion, liberation and equality

Decolonising in UK universities

What it’s like being a muslim student in the UK (and what students think about Islam)

Racism on campus and social norming

What happens when you ask students themselves about “inclusion”?

OfS has uncovered more gaps in getting in and getting on

You think Oxbridge, you think privilege

Mental health among transgender students

Students these days are so “super complex”

How can students feel safe and not safe all at the same time?

How to improve diversity on campus

Guess what. There’s a religion and belief attainment gap too

Why are LGBT+ students dropping out of uni?

Revealed: The big differences in student satisfaction between types of student

Revealed: what different types of students think of SUs

Are parts of HE turning a blind eye to racism?

This is why men do better when they appeal

How to make a difference for disabled students

Straight white men and diversity projects

Racial harassment at UK universities – summarising the report

Racism on campus – the role of SUs

Understanding the BME attainment gap

Are unis doing enough for disabled students?

Disabled students and living up to the “hype”

Ten takeaways from Trendence research on LGBT+ students

How co-creation can support underrepresented students and equitable practices

How to run research projects on gender-based violence

Decolonising the curriculum means decolonising the library too

Why are my lecturers so white?

Closing the gap: the UUK/NUS attainment report

Is it possible to “liberate the curriculum”?

Ensuring discrimination, harassment and non-reporting policies work for all students

Student representation and voice

Does your university need a student consultation framework?

Lip service and bottlenecks – what is it like being a student representative?

Student-staff co-creation in higher education

Responding to student voice: insights into international practice

Unbiased, reliable, and valid student evaluations can still be unfair

Ten ways to improve institution-level student representation

Partnerships that support student led projects

How to respond to OfS’ consultation on student consultation

Where does student voice go?

Student rights and protections

How to respond to OIA’s consultation on a new chapter of its Good Practice Framework

Is it time to review your university’s student protection plan?

Ten things to note from OIA’s annual report

What do students think about the so-called “value for money” agenda?

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and Industrial Action

How are SUs handling term two of strike action?

How much profit does your university make out of students?

How to respond to the OfS consultation on harassment and sexual misconduct

How to respond to OIA’s extenuating circumstances consultation

How to tell students where their tuition fees go

Fitness to practise – case studies from OIA

Understanding “fitness to practise”

Should students who owe their university money be able to graduate?

Fitness to practice and unsual academic regs

Essential welfare intervention or surveillance state?

Attendance monitoring at university

Hidden course costs and consumer law

International students

Ten things to remember about temporary changes to immigration rules for international students

Do we need an international students integration index?

How can we promote international integration on campus?

Do international students think Britain is drunk?

Strikes and industrial action

Industrial action latest statements

Thorny issues to think through in the run up to industrial action

Student rights and industrial action

Implications for SUs of summaries of strike complaints

Compensation and industrial action

Access and participation

So did universities build student engagement into access and participation plans?

Access and participation to… postgrad study?

Plums on the tree – what’s going on with social mobility?

What helps first in the family students to succeed?

Helping under-represented students navigate academic culture

Revealed: how to stop WP students from dropping out

What do published access and participation strategies say about SU and student involvement?

What’s the Sutton Trust saying about prospective students?

Contextual admissions – a quick explainer

What’s all the fuss about unconditional offers?

General election 2019

The Wonkhe SUs 2019 general election student policy guide

There’s a new “ranking” out on voter registration

Update from the Cabinet Office on electoral registration and NI numbers

SUs, elections and charity law: nothing to worry about

The electoral commission has clarified some things for charities

Getting students registered to vote is an urgent priority

General election 2019 manifesto watch: Plaid Cymru

General election 2019 manifesto watch: The Conservative Party

General election 2019 manifesto watch: The Brexit Party

General election 2019 manifesto watch: The Labour Party

General election 2019 manifesto watch: The Liberal Democrats

General election 2019 manifesto watch: The Green Party


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