In 2016, the Higher Education and Research Bill set out to make it easier and quicker for new higher education providers to start-up, attain degree awarding powers and secure university status. These new higher education institutions (HEIs) were intended to be high quality, innovative and specialist institutions. Given this encouraging policy context, a small number of potential higher education providers have identified gaps in the market and an opportunity to take a non-traditional approach to HE delivery.
This research focuses on these new providers and captures their early experiences and directions of development. It explores the process of setting up and developing a new higher education institution in England, how their approaches differ from existing practices at other universities, in for example, programme development and recruitment, and how they attempt to develop students ready to respond to the twenty-first century’s challenges.
The qualitative research includes semi-structured interviews with a range of stakeholders from some of these new HEIs, in particular, founders, directors, senior leadership team and those involved in the setting up a new university and developing the first programmes. Policy makers were also interviewed.