Get up and close and personal with your favourite weekly higher education podcast being recorded live from the festival.

Author, critic and broadcaster Bonnie Greer discusses the future of arts and humanities, and the role of universities in realising their value to the wider UK public. 

With funding challenges for universities across the UK, the drawn out and limited implementation of the Augar review, and new challenges on the horizon around skills and economic growth, is higher education in need of a significant reset in the next parliament?

Contributing writer at the Financial Times Anjana Ahuja joins us to chat about what the public wants to know about science and research, and how universities and the people working in them can be more engaged and influential in the public conversation.

The Power Test is a new political podcast exploring what a future Labour government can and should do to change Britain for the better. It’s hosted by two of Britain’s sharpest political thinkers, Sam Freedman, policy expert and former advisor to Michael Gove, and Ayesha Hazarika, broadcaster and former advisor to Ed Miliband. For this special live recording of the podcast Ayesha and Sam will be joined by a panel of expert guests to discuss the key policy and political challenges facing an incoming administration on higher education and what choices it needs to take to strengthen UK universities.

“Levelling up” may no longer be the current buzzword in government, but long standing issues of inequitable economic growth, public health, cultural assets, and education outcomes across the UK haven’t gone away – nor has universities’ and colleges’ commitment to their places. As Britain gears up for a general election, how might “place” shape the next generation of policy thinking – and how can universities best meet the needs of their communities?

We have heard a lot about how graduate education/educational status is important to identity and culture, and universities are told they are part of the problem of the out of touch new elites. Universities are an epicentre for navigating intergenerational arguments and shifts, which might naturally put campus culture at one pole of the spectrum in polarised times. But universities can also potentially be instrumental in helping to bridge those divides.

Can any higher education regulator realistically be expected to balance the interests of students, providers, government, and the nation – and not get itself into hot water? With regulatory divergence and reform across the UK and criticisms from a House of Lords committee over the efficacy of English regulator the Office for Students, our panel will assess the options for HE regulation and think through what might be done to make it work.

We have seen countless reports containing stats that describe the ways in which students are struggling when it comes to rising living costs. Yet we know little about what exactly students are doing to make ends meet – and get to the end of their courses. Drawing on new research from Wonkhe and Pearson on belonging during a cost of living crisis, this session examines the impact of the crisis on students’ social and academic experiences, and debates whether efforts to enable students to succeed in these circumstances are normalising stretched, miserable student experiences.