Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Higher Education”

Labour’s “Tuition Fees” moment?

Do you remember about five years ago when another party’s spokesman said he was for a policy opposite to that in their manifesto, then against the policy, then reversed his position again and then his party got in a shambles – some voting for a policy they said they were against, some abstaining, and a few voting in accordance with their previous manifesto? It really pissed off a significant portion of their supporter base. Read more…

First 100 Days

We are currently 71 days into this government and beginning to see its true colours. The “100 days” mark will occur during recess, so possibly it is worth reviewing how this “One Nation” government is doing.

Read more…

Undercover Boss

Channel 4 has just finished a re-run of the American version of Undercover Boss, the TV programme based on a senior executive donning a disguise and going to work on some pretext in his (or her) own company and getting new insights into the organisation.

The format is a touch artificial but the contrast between the UK version and the American version is worrying. Read more…

Drumbeats from North of the Border

This week (27 November 2014) has seen the publication of the Smith Commission‘s proposals – seen by many as the first stage in delivering the three Musketeer’s Vow to the Scottish People.

Whether it proves to be an effective response to the apparent desire of the Scottish people for more autonomy is yet to be seen.

It does however set a critical and crucial drumbeat to which all in the UK must respond. Read more…

“Selective Universities” select students from selective schools

Private school pupils are more likely to go to top universities, despite efforts to widen access, data suggests.

Some 64% of privately educated A-level students got into the most selective universities in 2010-11, against 24% of state school pupils. BBC News Website 8 August 2013: Judith Burns: Private school pupils keep university advantage

Should we be surprised? Read more…

What to do about London?

London seems to be growing almost exponentially and policy seems to be ever more London centric. Outside the “Home Counties” the rest of the country seems to be being left behind – much to the resentment of the rich South East.

And yet we read of problems in London.  Congestion, Airport under-capacity, Spiralling House prices (OK if you have one) and key workers unable to afford to live in London but unable to afford to travel into London.

Surely continuing like this is madness? Read more…

Degrees of Employability

An IoE study today reveals:

A national survey of more than 3000 workers aged 20-60 published today shows that across the job market there are now more posts requiring degrees than ever before.

Although unemployment among young graduates has increased during the current recession, jobs requiring degrees at entry-level have reached an all-time high – over a quarter of all posts. Those requiring no qualifications fell to historically low levels. The proportion of jobs requiring intermediate qualifications has barely changed.

This could highlight that Britain has a higher-skilled workforce, but it could indicate something less savoury. Read more…

Korea Development

The BBC used a student group (from the LSE) as cover for secret filming in North Korea.  The BBC said the film was strongly in the public interest (BBC News Website 15 April 2013 BBC insists Panorama North Korea programme will go on).

Our assessment was that, at most, the likelihood was deportation, but we explained to the students that the risks might go beyond that – might include arrest, detention and the possibility of not being allowed back into the country.

It may be in the public interest – but the decision surely is not a binary yes/no one.  Public Interest cannot be a simple switch that justifies anything. Read more…

Apologies and Promises

Political Apologies seem to be hitting the headlines again. Two years ago we had the British Prime Minister being cheered in (London)Derry for his apology following the Bloody Sunday Inquiry (The Saville Inquiry).  Then this month we had him again apologising in response to the Hillsborough report (The Hillsborough Independent Panel).  Yet he was not responsible for either event, so in some respects, the apologies (sincere though I believe they were) are a bit odd.

Nick Clegg’s “broken promises” apology (in respect of tuition fees) is a slightly different beast. Read more…

Paying for these students

Although the Liberals have got in an improper little twist over their stance on Tuition Fees, we should not let the amazement / outrage / incomprehensibility of their situation over-shadow what is to be done about higher education. Read more…

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