Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Facts Behind the Numbers

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Facts Behind the Numbers

Article excerpt

As any good undergraduate journalism or public relations student knows, there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

The article "Booms and busts follow in the wake of big bang" (23 January) on full-time UK institutional student acceptances used a broad brush in painting a picture of the sector and the performance of individual institutions.

At the University of Bedfordshire, for example, our change in numbers and recruitment patterns in the past two years has been driven by our student number allocation from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which we met (and by the strategic decision to stay within our numbers range, not to exceed it as was the case in 2011-12); that acceptances at partner institutions are no longer counted in our figures (a difference of nearly 500 between 2011 and 2013); and a reduction in the number of NHS and teaching agency commissioning places, driven by government policy not student choice. …

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