The Government’s delay releasing the ‘Levelling Up’ White Paper means that 2022 will start with a fresh look at English regions, their autonomy and decision making. With this focus, it is clear that policy work, such as HESA’s Regional variation in the design and nature of graduate work as well as that exploring the impact of the pandemic will all add to our understanding of what levelling up means for universities (HEPI). However, this does not mean that things are quiet across our nation states. The future of Welsh Higher Education is shifting as the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill details the legislative powers of the new Commission for Tertiary Education and Research (*CTER, pronounced “sea-tear”) and may impact our thinking at IEEC2022, Swansea.
The rest of the year is likely to see discussions on metrics, tracking, impact, and skills dominating our landscape. The UK push for Skills will impact both FE and HE provision and may fuel the lure of micro-credentials in a complex and insecure labour market.
In addition, it has been suggested that the UK will see pandemic ‘aftershocks’ lasting for over a decade across education, within regional inequalities and across key services, and there will be a focus on FE and HE to support this loss of access to education and skills development and this could see an increased focus on our role in regional economic development through business starts /spin outs and jobs created. Colleagues at Luminate share their predictions for the graduate labour market suggesting that things may level off in 2022 after an initial spike in recruitment but it is clear that education and skills are seen as key in supporting a post-Brexit high skilled economy.
Whilst it is clear within the policy world, just like education, there is still very little that we could call business as normal, it is evidence enterprise and entrepreneurship education, and EEUK Associates, have much to offer our students as we enter 2022, and if EEUK can help you, get in touch.
Alison Price, Head of Policy and Professional Development
Enterprise Educators UK