Higher Education Policy Network (HEPN)

Welcome to the HEPN web pages.  The Network 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), others may be held on an occasional basis to enable forum members to discuss topical issues.  A members' mailing list has been created to support and engage the network between meetings.  More information about the purpose of the Network can be found in the notes of the first meeting (from the link in the right hand box).

Upcoming Event

Date: Tuesday 13 February 2018
Speaker: The Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts
Venue: Inox Suite, Level 5, Student’s Union Building
Chair: Professor Gill Valentine, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

We are pleased to announce that the speaker is The Rt Hon. Lord David Willets, Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation. His talk on ‘A University Education’ will be followed by a question and answer session.

Book here to ensure your place at this event.  Please note places are limited.


The Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts is the Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation. He served as the Member of Parliament for Havant (1992-2015), as Minister for Universities and Science (2010-2014) and previously worked at HM Treasury and the No. 10 Policy Unit.

Lord Willetts is a visiting Professor at King’s College London, a board member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a Board member of Surrey Satellites and of the Biotech Growth Trust, Chair of the British Science Association, a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He is a member of the Board of the Crick Institute and a Trustee of the Science Museum. He is an Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College Oxford.

Lord Willetts has written widely on economic and social policy. His book ‘The Pinch’ about fairness between the generations was published in 2010. His latest book “A University Education” is published by Oxford University Press.

Keeping informed

Register here to join the  HEPN network.

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.

Past Events

Our most recent speaker was Paul Blomfield MP. Previously we have had talks from Neil Carberry, CBI Director of Education and Skills, Dr Dave Smith, Managing Director for the Sheffield City Region and Professor Richard Jones, Professor of Physics at the University of Sheffield. Anne-Marie Canning, Director of Widening Participation at King’s College London and 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. The slides for the talks are available in the HEPN Event Archive, (from the link in the right hand box)