Academic Funding

‘In defence of public higher education’

September 27, 2011 1208

An ‘alternative white paper’ has been published this week in the UK setting out an alternative to the Government’s proposed reforms to the English higher education system, due to come into effect next year.

‘In defence of higher education’ has been signed by more than 400 academics and is endorsed by a number of professional associations and campaign groups. It warns of the consequences of the Government’s reforms, which it argues are based on ideology rather than financial necessity, and sets out nine research-based propositions on the value of higher education to society:

1. Higher education serves public benefits as well as private ones. These require financial support if these benefits are to continue to be provided.

2. Public universities are necessary to build and maintain confidence in public debate.

3. Public universities have a social mission, contributing to the amelioration of social inequality, which is the corollary of the promotion of social mobility.

4. Public higher education is part of a generational contract in which an older generation invests in the wellbeing of future generations that will support them in turn.

5. Public institutions providing similar programmes of study should be funded at a similar level.

6. Education cannot be treated as a simple consumer good; consumer sovereignty is an inappropriate means of placing students at the heart of the system.

7. Training in skills is not the same as a university education. While the first is valuable in its own terms, a university education provides more than technical training. This should be clearly recognised in the title of a university.

8. The university is a community made up of diverse disciplines as well as different activities of teaching, research and external collaboration. These activities are maintained by academics, managers, administrators and a range of support staff, all of whom contribute to what is distinctive about the university as a community.

9. Universities are not only global institutions. They also serve their local and regional communities and their different traditions and contexts are important.

Related Articles

Pandemic Nemesis: Illich reconsidered
News
June 14, 2024

Pandemic Nemesis: Illich reconsidered

Read Now
Beyond Net-Zero Targets: When Do Companies Maximize Their Potential to Reduce Carbon Emissions?
Business and Management INK
June 4, 2024

Beyond Net-Zero Targets: When Do Companies Maximize Their Potential to Reduce Carbon Emissions?

Read Now
Rob Ford on Immigration
Public Policy
June 3, 2024

Rob Ford on Immigration

Read Now
Universities Should Reimagine Governance Along Co-Operative Lines
Higher Education Reform
May 20, 2024

Universities Should Reimagine Governance Along Co-Operative Lines

Read Now
Biden Administration Releases ‘Blueprint’ For Using Social and Behavioral Science in Policy

Biden Administration Releases ‘Blueprint’ For Using Social and Behavioral Science in Policy

U.S. President Joseph Biden’s administration has laid down a marker buttressing the use of social and behavioral science in crafting policies for the federal government by releasing a 102-page Blueprint for the Use of Social and Behavioral Science to Advance Evidence-Based Policymaking.

Read Now
New Fellowship for Community-Led Development Research of Latin America and the Caribbean Now Open

New Fellowship for Community-Led Development Research of Latin America and the Caribbean Now Open

Thanks to a collaboration between the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), applications are now being accepted for […]

Read Now
Striving for Linguistic Diversity in Scientific Research

Striving for Linguistic Diversity in Scientific Research

Each country has its own unique role to play in promoting greater linguistic diversity in scientific communication.

Read Now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments