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  • UK higher education as a strategic national asset

    UK higher education as a strategic national asset

    By Paul Clark – The UK is currently experiencing the most severe retrenchment in public spending since the Second World War. While the higher education sector is not immune to the effects of this fiscal pressure, it has escaped relatively lightly compared to other areas of public service in terms of headline public investment figures. Government investment in science and research will remain constant in cash terms up to 2015, at £4.6 billion a year (still a 9 per cent […]

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  • The challenges facing the UK’s world-class universities and the importance of diversity

    The challenges facing the UK’s world-class universities and the importance of diversity

    By Wendy Piatt – The UK’s leading research-intensive universities are playing a critical role as the UK works and thinks its way back to sustainable economic growth. Our economic competitiveness is underpinned by a higher education system which is recognised internationally for the excellence of its research and educational provision. The UK’s research performance, and the attractiveness of the UK to overseas researchers, students, and inward investment, is in no small part because the UK is home to a significant […]

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  • The future funding of higher education: has the Treasury got the sums wrong?

    The future funding of higher education: has the Treasury got the sums wrong?

    By Pam Tatlow – Regardless of any Liberal-Democrat election manifesto promise, the die for higher fees was cast when George Osborne’s October 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) adopted the assumption that the public funding of teaching in English universities was a subsidy rather than an investment. In the ensuing and often heated debate about the impact on institutions, students and graduates, of allowing fees to rise to £9,000, surprisingly little has been said about the implications for the Exchequer, the […]

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  • How a better HE funding system could make everybody happy

    How a better HE funding system could make everybody happy

    By Johnny Rich – Minimal student debt, properly funded universities, low cost to the taxpayer and highly employable graduates available to recruiters at the right price. An impossible pipe dream, surely? Actually, no. But unfortunately, such a confluence of virtues would indeed be impossible under the current HE funding system. That is because each is set at odds with another. For students to have low debts, the universities must go without funds or the taxpayer must foot the bill. And, […]

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  • Who should pay for higher education – and how?

    Who should pay for higher education – and how?

    By Bahram Bekhradnia – We have moved very rapidly in England from a situation where full-time undergraduate students paid nothing towards the cost of their higher education – that was the case until 1998 – to a position where students will in future pay 100% of their costs. That is the apparent effect of the new student finance regime that has been proposed by the government. Given that the philosophical basis for the introduction of fees in the first place […]

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