Higher Education Policy Network

The Higher Education Policy Network (HEPN) has been created for anyone to engage with the intellectual, professional and public debates about topical policy issues in higher education, through a seminar series with invited speakers and network meetings.


The Network meets quarterly throughout the year. Some meetings include speakers, both internal and external to the University.

Other meetings may be held on an occasional basis to enable forum members to discuss topical issues.

You can find more information about the purpose of the Network in the notes of the first meeting, available to download from the HEPN events archive

Keeping informed

To register for the members' mailing list, which supports and engages the network between meetings, please contact uso-admin@sheffield.ac.uk

We also produce a weekly Policy Briefing which summarises what’s going on in the higher education policy world each week - register here for the Policy Briefing.

Please note that the Policy Briefing is aimed at an internal staff audience - you will need to register with your University of Sheffield email address.

Past events

Slides for these talks, if available, can be found in the HEPN events archive

Our most recent speakers were:

  • Professor Kathryn Ecclestone, Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield
  • Professor Jacqueline Stevenson, Head of Research at the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University
  • Mayeda Tayyab, Women’s Officer at the University of Sheffield Students’ Union. 

Previously, we have had talks from:

  • The Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts
  • Paul Blomfield MP
  • Neil Carberry, CBI Director of Education and Skills
  • Dr Dave Smith, Managing Director for the Sheffield City Region
  • Professor Richard Jones, Professor of Physics at the University of Sheffield
  • Anne-Marie Canning, Director of Widening Participation at King’s College London
  • Dr Rachel van Duyvenbode, Senior University Teacher in the School of English Literature
  • Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield
  • David Palfreyman, Bursar and a Fellow of New College, University of Oxford
  • Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International (UUKi)
  • Professor Peter Scott, Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education
  • Aaron Porter, previous NUS President
  • Professor Les Ebdon, Director of OFFA
  • Paul Clark, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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