Thursday, 18 August 2011

Stefan Collini on University Funding Reforms

The full article is well worth a read as it goes into some detail about how the government will attempt to control student numbers while maintaining the fa├žade of university autonomy and student choice. This passage is from the final paragraph, and states something which should be right at the core of education policy:

The expansion of the proportion of the age-cohort entering higher education from 6 per cent to 44 per cent is a great democratic gain that this society should not wish to retreat from. To the contrary, we should be seeking to ensure that those now entering universities in still increasing numbers are not cheated of their entitlement to an education, not palmed off, in the name of ‘meeting the needs of employers’, with a narrow training that is thought by right-wing policy-formers to be ‘good enough for the likes of them’, while the children of the privileged classes continue to attend properly resourced universities that can continue to boast of their standing in global league tables. There is nothing fanciful or irresponsible in believing that this great public good of expanded education can and should be largely publicly funded.

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