I felt (quite literally) honoured recently to receive an invitation from the man who puts the ‘great’ into Paul Greatrix – none other than the Registrar of the University of Nottingham, the blogger, the podcaster and the chronicler of all things higher education. He asked me to appear on his podcast My Imaginary University. If you’re not familiar with it (where have you been?), this is the closest thing the HE sector has to Desert Island Discs. It’s a ingeniously simple format in which Paul interviews someone, invites them to make some seemingly fantastical choices and, in the process, of course, they reveal as much about themselves
Last week, the DfE announced that it was setting up a £12 million fund to encourage employers to offer work experience for T levels. Good news, right? Well, partly. If T Levels are ever going to be a mainstream success as a vocational qualification, they are going to need a lot more employer engagement. I mean a lot. When you have a bold and ambitious policy, you don’t get it to fly by giving it half a feather instead of a full set of wings
I don’t think I agree with the idea of university as a ‘failsafe’, although I’m still not sure I understand what you intend by the word. So I’m going to use Matt Pinkett’s line: ‘Aim for whatever you want to do, and if you don’t get it, well, at least you can go to university.’ That assumes that whatever you want to do won’t be best achieved by going to uni. Obviously, university is not the best route for everything or for everyone, but for the vast majority of the best paid and most secure jobs, it is – if not a prerequisite – at least a
There is plenty of research showing a significant earnings premium on average for graduates regardless of background. Probably the most comprehensive work is the paper by the IFS ‘How English domiciled graduate earnings vary with gender, institution attended, subject and socio-economic background’. The Sutton Trust has also done many excellent studies on different aspects of this question which is actually a lot more complex than it sounds.