The consequences of growth

By Emran Mian – The Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK estimated the value of the country’s human capital in 2010.  What they were trying to capture in the calculation is “the knowledge, skills, competencies and attributes embodied in individuals that facilitate the creation of personal, social and economic well-being”. Since then, they have consulted on the methodology and recognise that the estimate can be improved. The size of the estimate is startling: £17.12tn, or two and a […]

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Good for Everyone: The Scottish Model for Higher Education

By Michael Russell – At the heart of the Scottish Government’s approach to higher education are two core principles. The first is that we invest in education as a societal good. Secondly, we believe that access to education should be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay. As a small, learning nation, Scotland values its university sector. Last September, the annual QS rankings again showed three of our universities in the world’s top 100. To put […]

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Does higher education + globalisation = transnational education?

By Nigel Healey – For most of its relatively brief history, mass higher education in the UK has evolved along a quasi-Stalinist, command economy path. Post-Robbins, the report that paved the way for mass higher education in 1963, a university education was deemed to be a public good, with the benefits to society maximised by offering a place to ‘all who were qualified for them by ability and attainment’1. Public subsidies, in the form of grants (later subsidised loans) to […]

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The Brain Drain

By Penny Egan – Apparently there is a brain drain of bright young students to the USA. This seems to be the storyline that the British media has taken ever since the Laura Spence affair, where the former comprehensive school student accused Oxford of elitism for not admitting her despite being qualified and happily accepted a place at Harvard. Despite many efforts to get the other side of the story aired, the UK’s ‘third estate’ doesn’t seem inclined to print […]

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