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Mis-sold, expensive and overhyped: why our universities are a con | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
For two decades, Westminster has used universities as its magic answer for social mobility. Ministers did so with the connivance of highly paid vice-chancellors, and in the process they have trashed much of what was good about British higher education. What should be sites for speculative inquiry and critical thinking have instead turned into businesses that speculate on property deals, criticise academics who aren’t publishing in the right journals – and fail spectacularly to engage with the serious social and economic problems that confront the UK right now. As for the graduates, they largely wind up taking the same place in the queue as their parents – only this time with an expensive certificate detailing their newfound expertise.
education  higherEducation  universities  expansion  fees  tuitionFees  pay  wages  salaries  marketisation  debt  class  socialMobility  UK  policy  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
september 2018 by petej
Thirty years of HE policy - and the future | Wonkhe | Comment
However, there is an alternative scenario. This is one in which our political leaders and the media and other interests that have supported them own up to the blind alley up which these policies have led us over the past forty years or so. They are prepared to explain to the electorate that you cannot have European levels of public services with American levels of tax (and tax avoidance). They are no longer prepared to put up with the excuses of what is left of UK-owned business for their failure to match international standards of investment (including investment in people) or even the investment record of foreign-owned firms in Britain (at least pre-Brexit).

They are willing for the Government to be more actively engaged in managing economic demand, in combating market concentration, and in promoting and supporting industrial innovation. They work with the EU and other governments to control the offshore and other activities of multinationals and to regulate the cross-border movement of goods, services, capital and people. Above all, they believe in and extol the virtues of public goods, working with civil society organisations like universities to rebuild the public infrastructure and the (now frighteningly decayed) public realm.
education  higherEducation  universities  UK  policy  funding  expansion  fees  tuitionFees  marketisation  competition 
april 2018 by petej
By creating a market for universities, the government has snookered itself | Science | The Guardian
How to respond? Well, tempting though it is to say we told you so, this is too important for universities themselves not to seek solutions in the interests of the students and graduates who are at the heart of why so many scholars become teachers. We have all sorts of clever people in universities who specialise in thinking about knotty problems. And we sure as hell need them now.

Many have never thought of education as just one more service industry. They think instead in terms of purpose, vocation and public benefit. And they feel a duty to those they teach that lasts for decades after graduation.

What would those people say? Like all good scholars they would want to go back to fundamentals and ask who and what are universities for? What kind of society, economy and democracy will emerge if we get things right? Such an approach would incorporate evidence from all quarters, not only those who directly experience higher education.

If only politicians had the luxury of asking important questions and patiently, humbly seeking answers. But then we citizens and voters are the creators and purchasers of headlines and politics. If there is going to be any kind of enlightenment, it will have to begin with us.
education  higherEducation  universities  funding  marketisation  students  loans  debt  interestRates  fees  tuitionFees  Brexit  EU  immigration  UK  politics 
september 2017 by petej
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