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be connected newsletter for higher education - April 2021

In this edition of our higher education newsletter, we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the higher education sector.

28 April 2021

Welcome to be connected our quarterly update for Higher Education Institutions.

We aim to provide content that offers you real value and relevant, useful information from our national team of legal and HR experts.

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In this edition we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the higher education sector.

Legal updates

Keeping your spinouts spinning

With an estimated two in five spinouts ceasing activity between their fifth and tenth anniversary of trading, in this article Senior Associate Sam Sharp considers what makes for a successful spinout.

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Risk management in digital transformation for universities

Digital transformation is accelerating in the sector, as universities recognise that they must embed digital experiences into their curricula to remain competitive. With students expecting seamless integration of the systems they use for learning, the new digital environment creates a number of challenges for IT departments. In this article, one of our newest Partners, Sophie Ashcroft, considers the fundamentals of good design and planning, contract governance, data security and systems integration to help institutions manage their risk.

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Gradings without exams – arrangements for the Class of 2021

Assessment arrangements for those due to finish their level 3 studies in 2021 are being finalised at present. The impact on students, parents and schools is significant as everyone struggles to avoid a repeat of last year. The impact of the system on the HE sector is significant both in terms of timing and quality of data impacting on the selection process for students who are looking to progress to their university of choice.

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First universities publish their modern slavery statements

Subject to meeting a four step criteria, every commercial organisation in the UK is now required to publish their annual modern slavery statement.

With the first universities having now published their statements, Ray Silverstein looks at the new process that is anticipated to ‘radically enhance transparency’ in rooting out modern slavery practices.

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Remote learning and managing its accidental impact on energy contracts

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced HEIs to move exclusively to remote learning but, longer term, HEIs will no doubt be looking at the benefits of continuing with remote learning and/or a hybrid of in-person and online learning.

When considering whether to make that move, institutions should consider the potential knock-on effect it can have on their energy contracts. In this article, Senior Associate, Chloe Poskitt explains more.

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Responding to supplier administrations

The financial pressure that many companies are currently under may prove insurmountable. The financial support schemes cannot go on indefinitely and, when they are removed, it is likely that we will see the number of insolvencies increase.

Following the administration of Gaia Technologies, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of ICT services to UK schools and universities, we look at the options that are open to you, including engaging in the creditor processes.

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Webinars and online events

10 – 14 May

Universities Human Resources Annual Conference

Join us at UHR’s annual conference, where we welcome Tracey Hulme and Sukhvinder Singh to discuss how the University of Wolverhampton’s Race Equality Charter is delivering impact.

13 May

University spinouts and joint ventures – developing your in-house expertise

In this one-hour webinar, our IP and corporate specialists will look at how spinouts and joint ventures are providing significant commercial opportunities for universities to capitalise on their research and innovation expertise.

8 – 10 June

PraxisAuril 2021 conference

Come and meet the team! We will be online throughout this four-day conference to discuss how we can support your institution.

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Bettina Rigg


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