Aaron Porter: The Value of Higher Education in a New Era (@_UOW)

Joy Carter introducing Aaron Porter

Variance of numbers progressing into higher education – NE least likely, SE/London far more likely to (ties into economic value).

Parliamentary Constituencies send everything from 10%-60% to university.

Gender – much more women, but women still earning around 12% less. Also month of birth – September 5% more than August.

More ££, parents read Daily Telegraph – more likely to go.

Tip of a demographic downturn. 10 years of drops in numbers to 2020/21 (4-5%).

Student Numbers: Change over time

Student fees didn’t put numbers off, but there is a tipping point and feels has pretty much reached that point.

Where the money comes from in HE

Oxford/Cambridge could keep going for a couple of years if money stopped coming in today, average looks to hold 3.9% in reserve, but around 12 are in danger (not Winchester).

Some institutions heavily dependent on government funds… Makes them more vulnerable.

Money from research – from 0% to small number get £250k – most because of historical advantage they have. 1 modern university in London has more ethnic minority students than all the Russell Group universities.. Who have most money, etc & therefore could rectify the situation. But these Students – good at getting in to other institutions. Particular problem with white working class boys.

Starting Points: Finish Points

Selection at 11 more likely to ‘succeed’ at 18. Lots of measures of universities on their outcome, but few on the UCAS entry points .. Who is applauding the universities who are getting 200 points to 2:1, whereas 500 points should be a given at first…

Lower socio-economic groups – more likely to stay at home (pre tuition fees), not just cost but not recognising the attainment possibilities.

Most students still attend to get qualifications, get a job, etc a although good number for experience.

Students who want to get into Russell Group not so concerned about subject.. Just want to get in the door. More modern university – more concerned by being at home.

The more likely to vote: the more likely to be in HE

The more participation in elections, more likely to attend uni – not sure what happens first. Government successively cut fees since 1980s…

Choices made much younger e.g. 13 GCSE choices a rules out options at university & therefore late choices.

Graduate Premium by Subject

Graduate premium… Average ££ value after course. Varies by subject etc. figures vary wildly by institution also. Graduate destination data doesn’t vary that much.

Starting salary tends to vary by institution. Interrogate the statistics.. Geography and subject choice makes a big difference (eg arts never pays well).

Consumer Models of Education?

Success in HE – is you making use of the facilities to their best. Gym analogy works – if don’t use equipment won’t get fit (doesn’t matter how much pay) – if don’t take staff advice, use the facilities available – won’t have a good degree experience. Should not be equated with buying a car or a kettle. Lots of debate re cost – but so much more complicated than a simple tuition fee – previous life experience has a much bigger impact.

Important – aspiration & ability – universities CAN take people from all sorts of backgrounds – is still biggest springboard into new world and new opportunities. Bright enough/interested enough – can do what you want…


About 5000 courses being cut because ‘soft’. Definitely thinks universities should consider their portfolio. What is soft/hard is perceptual. Media studies – long derided, but has a great employability record. Media twice as big as pharmaceutical industries in UK.

Statistics = negative. What would say to those re apprenticeships, etc. Stats re happiness, health etc outstrips always. Politicians preach value of apprenticeships but always send own kids to university. Social circles = different world – wider – that apprenticeship can’t offer.

When paying £9k – will employers recognise value of this? In 1960s were saying literacy skills not good. Employers are mostly 80%+ happy with students. If employers want specific skills, should pay on the job. Unis need to be open to what unis can offer re employability… Though not driven by it. Youth un employment Stands at 20%. Graduates at 10% and earnings go up faster, with promotions, etc.

Passion for widening access/opportunities for all – only those universities that are keen to do so. Often written off at an earlier age… So important to continue working with primary/secondary schools to widen access. Important for parents to talk about university (even if not been) & how many books in house – makes a difference. Encouragement at choices at 11 makes a huge difference. Hopefully at 18 student drives the choices. ensure those in state schools get meaningful careers advice (when challenge is getting 5 GCSEs)… Give evidence of data of what university can do for you…

Hard/soft decided at school. Should be encouraged to take those they enjoy, but also good at… Not just those that can get a good grade/economics… Inconsistency in policy – calling for more practical subjects but not giving eg a D&T degree the same power as eg history.

Biggest issue not fees, but the removal of the infrastructure for access – eg Aim Higher = the biggest issue.

What about additional courses for trips, etc. ‘hidden fees’ especially when tuition fee goes up. Becomes less and less acceptable although universities have only same/less money. Need greater transparency around those costs – with a view of removing them. Is cross subsidy goes on – as e.g. Medics costs £17k+, whereas low end subjects £4k – how transparent are unis going to be?

5 years ago not a single care student at Winchester, this year are 18. Don’t sit on hands and say ‘we can’t do anything’.

ALFRED: Launch of Edition 3

You can download Vol 3 of ALFRED here.

Alfred Volume 3

This (just published) volume show cases 17 student papers, including coursework, FYPs and reflection pieces. Topics covered in this edition include a critique of a creative writing degree, paper examining Hindu pilgrimage, a report on the complexity of ADHD, a discussion on the Human Rights Bill, an analysis of Nokia Corporation, a look at Bosnian Theatre in a war zone. The contributors have demonstrated the excellent work produced by Winchester’s undergraduates.

A service of celebration to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible (@wabbey)

After a year or so creating/working on The Big Bible Project, tomorrow, I will be taking up my invitation to attend:


16 November 2011 at NoonHer Majesty The Queen accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will attend a service of celebration, in association with the King James Bible Trust, to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible at Westminster Abbey on 16 November at 12 noon.

The place of the King James Bible in our culture and the continuing significance of the Word will be celebrated in the service.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams will give the Address. A new composition by one of the winners of the King James Bible Trust Composition Awards, Out of the South Cometh the Whirlwind by American composer, Zachary Wadsworth will be performed by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, conducted by James O’Donnell.

Following the service the Abbey’s bells will be rung to a peal of Stedman Caters comprising 5,400 changes.

Lancelot Andrewes, Dean of Westminster 1601-1605, was Director of the first Westminster Company responsible for translating part of the Old Testament. It is believed that the translators met in the Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster Abbey, a room also used by subsequent translators.

The service is part of a series of Abbey events marking the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

Taken from Westminster Abbey website and read more on the King James Bible Trust.

I’m a little concerned that we (Pete Phillips & I) have a meeting at 1.30pm, and it doesn’t start til 12 … we can get there from 10am. I’ll be getting the 854 I think – guess I should decide what to wear, and not forget my 2 forms of ID…

I’m signed up for the @Great_Run (South)

At this point, I’ve just signed up for the Great South Run, 28th October 2012.

In 2006, I was on a ski trip in January, and said that I would run the Manchester 10k (May) .. thinking it didn’t sound that far… but after 1 minute on the treadmill, I was slightly dying, so joined the running club. My aim was to get it done in 1 hour 30 minutes, but I did it in 1 hour 8 minutes 26 seconds…

Later that year, after sharing a bottle of wine with a friend, we signed up for the Winchester 10k, which was a WEEK later (and I was still running, but definitely not at the same level), but I completed that in 1 hour 6 minutes! I’m sure it’s more hilly also…

In the time since, I’ve been travelling around the world (where I got a chest infection), partaken in a number of computer based jobs, and I felt the need for something to inspire me to get my ‘get up and go back’ (I’ve been back at the gym for over a year, and love the classes there)… and know that running before, though I don’t particularly “enjoy” it, I really reap the benefits from it… and seeing @batty_towers talking about her runs, a friend running today in the Great South Run, and seeing the apps that show how far you’ve run (seen those Tweets about #runkeeper?). Also see:

I’ll be running on behalf of the NSPCC, so at some point there will be an appeal for sponsorship, but encouragement & support will be greatly appreciated!

Chatting on @bbcmerseyside this morning #flashevensong

After blogging about @flashevensong on this blog the other day, and subsequent conversations on Facebook/Twitter, Wayne Clarke invited me to speak (at 7.40am!) on BBC Radio Merseyside about my experiences of being there.

  • Listen again, from around 1.32, to the stories about St Paul’s (around 1.37 for my stuff)
  • And I’ve collected a version for posterity…
If you want to read more about The Big Bible Project, just click in… and we’d love it if you join the conversation! And if you want to comment on what I said, be interested…

Joining #flashevensong / @flashevensong @StPaulsLondon #OccupyLSX

Today, I met with Pete Phillips to discuss where we’re going with @bigbible, etc. and, combined with a number of Tweets I’d seen earlier, decided that I would join the Flash Evensong, organised by @artsyhonker (who’d run a similar event on Sunday).

Bex and Pete at #occupylsx (mp3)

Check out the rest of our boos from #occupyslx

Information had been circulated via Twitter since Sunday afternoon (always with the knowledge that the Cathedral might reopen), with materials available on a website (therefore those coming were asked to either print off, or use their phones for the material). We were welcome, however, to just stand and enjoy the atmosphere (tho I knew I’d be doing some tweeting, etc..) … and it was great to run into a number of people that I often talk to on Twitter but rarely meet face to face… It  was great to see how Twitter had brought people together (for an event that @artsyhonker had expected about 10 people at), and to see crowds grow as 30+ singers sang beautifully… although the ‘paps’ were rather disconcerting – they know how to get their picture (yes, push!) … lots of us just stayed up to watch ITV News … but no sign of us :-( I was asked by ‘Classical Music’ magazine – there was a guy in the right place at the right time – whether I thought this was a ‘publicity stunt’ or a service … those of us there definitely felt that it was a service, and Kathryn (@artsyhonker) rationale for creating it was that people aren’t able to go to Evensong in the Cathedral, but faith/worship is clearly so much bigger than the building (see Jhon Cooper’s interview)

Never mind the media coverage… you can listen to some audioboos (music 1; music 2; artsyhonkey; riggwelter; peterould, and see my snapshots on video:

There’s also some pics here and a blog from @riggwelter … sure there’s more around!

Tweets are being collected on Twapperkeeper (it should be able to pick up the last 24-48 hours), and I was chuffed to see Peter Ould undertake his first audioboo tonight:

Chatting to Hazel, one of the @occupylsx campers (mp3)

Ionic, isn’t it? @timeshighered


What a brilliant idea …:

Academics from physicists to experts on Scandinavian culture are crafting stand-up comedy routines based on their work. But this is no joke. Matthew Reisz finds that a crowd’s laughter is not the only payoff

Here’s an idea of the content:

The nominal theme, tying in with a major exhibition, Power of Making, is “craft”, though the audience could not possibly have guessed it. Performers explore Tory drinking rituals and the “extreme decollete fashions” of the 17th century; pubic hair loss during the menopause; the importance of anti-Catholic fart humour in the early development of printing; the difficulties of translating Danish jokes into English; and the history of racist comedy (the speaker warns the audience in advance that “because this is a national institution, I’m not allowed to tell you the punchlines”).

A PhD student offers a glimpse of his lonely life: “Today is Tuesday, the day after University Challenge, when I get a chance to spend some quality time with Jeremy Paxman.” There is also a song about dinosaurs in Westminster and a polka-dotted cabaret duo, not to mention the occasional groan-worthy one-liner (“Anyone seen Ralph Fiennes in The Tempest? It’s going down a storm”).

And here’s the rationale:

As head of public engagement at UCL, Cross created his academic comedy nights in response to a specific challenge: to find a way of engaging with people in “the great demographic gap” between the ages of 20 and 40. “Universities have been very good at schools outreach and at getting academics on to Radio 4,” he explains, “but we haven’t been so good at reaching the market in between.” Many museums and cultural institutions face a similar problem.

So how could they get “an audience to turn up and listen to members of the university sharing their research, teaching and knowledge in a meaningful, interactive way, face to face and not through a facilitator”? Cross and his team talked to people who ran theatre, music and comedy nights. “We wanted something with content that would attract an audience beyond those already working and studying in universities. The thing we came up with was stand-up comedy – because of the rise of intelligent comedy, because researchers can learn to perform to a good standard relatively quickly, and because you can make anything funny.”

Read the full story and check out ‘Bright Club‘ on Facebook

A great talk hosted by @psychologiesmag, with @lucyberesford and Sadie Jones, hosted by @louisechunn

Wednesday evening, I popped along from working on The Big Bible Project, to check out the first event of its kind held by Psychologies Magazine.  Aside from snapping my calf muscle en route (2nd time in 2 weeks), I turned up in time for wine (sure it’s a great pain killer!), and had a chance to chat to some of the team from Psychologies mag – always nice to know more about the people who are writing what you’re reading! I’ve got every edition of Psychologies, although I’ve not necessarily read them all (yet!), and it was great at the end of the event to chat to some more of the team, and there may be an opportunity to write some materials! So, I guess… watch this space… I guess it depends how much I procrastinate about it :-)

I would go to the bottom of these images and read up…:

Happy Christmas [#Ecard] 2010

I wanted to wish a Happy Christmas to everyone (as you may know, I only send Christmas cards to older relatives!), and as per usual, have been looking out for bits and pieces online to brighten up people’s Christmas! Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year… I will be enjoying myself in Egypt (and yes, trying not to get eaten by sharks!)… having a ‘digital break’ for 2.5 weeks!! BTW, don’t you just love this shadow pic by 12baskets!!

The Birth of Jesus: Social Media Style

This year, it’s all about the Nativity, so here’s a great video (if you’re into social media, you’ll love it… if you speak Portuguese you’ll love it even more, but I think you’ll get it anyway edit: or we’ve now found an English version!)

Have you come across Natwivity yet?

Meet Joseph, he’s an ordinary guy with a pretty ordinary life. He’s in a relationship with Mary and works as a carpenter in Galilee. This young couple are about to receive some very un-ordinary news and begin an extraordinary journey – One that will change the world forever… (Join 1000s of others on Twitter, Facebook, Website)

Through the eyes of a child…

Cute kids acting out the story more your thing? This one’s very cute!!

Happy New Year and look forward to an excellent 2011…

2011 is the 400th anniversary since the publication of the King James Version of the Bible. Biblefresh is a movement of hundreds of churches, agencies, organisations, colleges and festivals which has a vision to reignite and re-enthuse the church in its passion for the Bible. For many in our churches the Bible has  become tedious and toxic rather than treasured, trusted and true. The aim of the Biblefresh initiative is to encourage a greater confidence and passion for Scripture across the Church.

Biblefresh is asking churches to agree to raise the level of biblical understanding amongst their members by taking practical steps in four areas: Reading,  Training, Translation and Experience, providing resources through the Biblefresh website, book, leaders guide and e-letters which will provide you with ideas as to how to fulfil development in all four areas.

The Big Read 2011

Alongside other projects, I am working on The Big Bible Project, which includes “The #BigRead2011″, part of Biblefresh. The Big Read  involves meeting together in housegroups to read the Bible, making use of Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone: Matthew (December 2010) with opportunities to go much bigger and much more creative and join in online  (inter)nationally. From quiet sitting rooms with Bibles and books, to coffee shops and Internet chatrooms across the world…. Get involved!

London Fringe Festival Short Fiction Awards

Even though the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the big thing that the moment, London’s Fringe Festival continues throughout the year. I was invited to come hear Charly’s short-story which had been short-listed. I don’t leave work til 7, when the event started, and unfortunately they went in alphabetical order, so I missed, but still, I think the support as the results were read out was appreciated!

The guy who set up 4’33” reading his short story.

The judges giving feedback… and a special commendation from one of the judges for Charly’s story “it was wonderful, and the ending was the best of all of them”

Charly relieved that it’s over!

A Reflection on the First #MediaLit Course

“Have you ever wondered how the media works, or watched a TV programme and asked yourself what values underpin it? Ever pondered the ethics of media production and consumption?  Is there a theology of communication? How might the church engage with and support those who work in the media? Ever thought about how the national church engages with the media? How do church press offices work? Could your local church engage more effectively with the media? What might the digital future look like? How might social networking develop? Today Twitter and FaceBook,  tomorrow…?

MediaLit gave the opportunity to explore all these issues and more. Based in the wonderful setting of St John’s College, Durham,  MediaLit was a week long, intensive course – both hands on and theoretical – which brought together media practitioners, journalists, the Churches Media Council, those exploring how to use social media in relation to Christian faith, trainee ministers, vicars and other interested parties.”

Read the full reflection by Kate Bruce and indicate your interest in future MediaLit courses. Find Kate on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/johnschaplain

Guest Post on @thechurchmouse #medialit

“A few days ago Pete Phillips from CODEC guest blogged on the Church and Media Network Conference, and mentioned an upcoming course organised by CODEC and the Church and Media Network, called as MediaLit.  The course describes itself as “an opportunity for first class training and resources in media for ministry for those engaged in formal pre-ordination training, those already engaged in local or national ministry and anyone concerned to connect Christian faith with communication in a digital age. ”

MediaLit has now taken place, and Mouse wanted to bring it to your attention.  Below is a guest post from Dr Bex Lewis on what it was all about.  Bex has a PhD in Second World War posters (http://ww2poster.co.uk), teaches History & Media Studies, whilst working on Blended Learning projects for the Universities of Winchester & Durham.”

Read the full post here.