Last month, I was invited to participate in one of the debates that the Higher Education Policy Institute was organising at the Festival of Higher Education at the University of Buckingham. The motion was: “This House believes 18-year olds are still children and not adults.” Alongside journalist and author Jo Williams, I was opposing the motion against Nick Hillman (HEPI Director) and Chris Ramsay (Headmaster of Whitgift School). The context was that there is an increasing concern about the welfare of university students and the role that universities should play in ensuring their safety. This is (allowing for extemporising) what I said: Let’s remind ourselves of
On Wednesday evening, the Prime Minister rather lost it. She railed against MPs for not bowing down before the maw-like vortex that is her Brexit strategy. Theresa May’s statement betrayed a catalogue of cognitive biases. It’s like every entry in the text book was replaced with the same case study. Here’s a list: Illicit transference/Fallacy of division: May attributed the (dishonourable) problems of the whole of Parliament to individual MPs, when in fact the problems are an emergent effect of individuals acting, as they each believe, honourably (for the most part). By blaming them individually for the collective problems, she can only possibly alienate them
The media coverage of my paper for HEPI Fairer Funding: the case for a graduate levy has been widespread and the reactions surprisingly favourable. While there haven’t been many people getting out the bunting and ticker tape, many people seem to agree that it is an interesting proposal and it is right and timely to address the question of employer contributions to the cost of higher education. The most common complaint, however, appears to be to deny that market forces have any place in higher education. One tweet read: You’ve made the fundamental mistake of assuming that market forces can be made to operate efficiently
Read Fairer funding: the case for a graduate levy (HEPI Policy Note) and, exclusively on this site, Fairer funding: the case for a graduate levy (full proposal). What I’d like for Christmas: We should abolish tuition fees. We should fund English universities well enough that they can continue to be among the best in the world. We should match graduates and jobs so that they have the right skills to get jobs they want and succeed in them. We should ensure that the nation’s skills gaps are plugged. We shouldn’t ask the taxpayer to pay for more than the public benefit of higher education. Is
Today, The Guardian reported the publication of a report out today from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) with the headline ‘“Less than half’ of tuition fees spent on teaching at English universities‘. The headline here is more than a little misleading as the article goes on to report how HEPI’s paper shows how almost all of the tuition fees charged to students at English universities are spent on student-facing costs. However, to understand this issue, we also need to remember some other stuff about fees. When fees were tripled to £9k, the intention was that 1/3 of the income over £6k would be spent
A funny thing happened recently. Sam Gyimah, the UK Universities minister tweeted a picture of himself on the train “adding the finishing touches” to a speech he was giving to university leaders later that day. A Twitter user joked that he might want help: “Can I pay someone to write my essay for me?” Mr Gyimah’s timeline was immediately flooded with responses – mostly from Twitter bots – offering to help with his assignment in return for a fee, guaranteeing a top grade and that the ‘essay’ would be free from plagiarism. The original tweet was a witty reference to research published earlier in the
BBC Radio 4 reported this morning a leak from the current Augar Review of Post-18 Education Funding. They claimed that a ‘source’ had supported a report in The Times last week that the review would propose that tuition fees should be capped at £6,500 and the “shortfall would be made up by capping student numbers”. For starters, the way this is worded makes no sense as capping numbers would only make funding shortfall worse, not better because of loss of economies of scale. I put this down to the BBC’s over-simplified description. More worryingly, this would be a disaster for any course costing more to run.