Innovation in UK higher education: A panel data analysis of undergraduate degree programmes

Nola Hewitt-Dundas, Stephen Roper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)
295 Downloads (Pure)


In the UK, higher education is increasingly a marketised service sharing many characteristics with other professional services such as legal, medical or financial services. With marketisation comes competition, and the need for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to develop and maintain strong programmes to attract and retain high-class faculty and fee-paying students. Here, we consider the drivers of programme innovation – i.e. the introduction of new programmes and the withdrawal of existing programmes - in UK universities. Our focus is on undergraduate programmes as these account for three-quarters of all student enrolments. Using panel data for UK universities we identify significant resource, internationalisation and business engagement effects. Financial stringency and more extensive international market engagement both encourage programme introduction. Collaboration with businesses has offsetting effects depending on the nature of the interaction. The results have both strategic and systemic implications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch Policy
Early online date17 Oct 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 17 Oct 2017


  • Innovation
  • Higher Education
  • UK

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