School leavers head for Uni in record numbers

UCAS reports highest ever numbers of school leavers have made applications for September -by the end of June, over 235.000 18 years,40% of 18 years had applied -though the number from Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland  has fallen. Universities will be delighted, particularly those dependent on expansion for survival. They'll  continue to argue that … Continue reading School leavers head for Uni in record numbers

Review of Post -18 Education and Funding. First impressions

The Augar report on post-18 learning has been long awaited. The first government sponsored  review of higher education since Robbins, it’s two hundred or so pages were published in the week the Prime Minister who commissioned it resigned and as universities start to wind down, or at least lose their students for the summer. Perhaps … Continue reading Review of Post -18 Education and Funding. First impressions

A third of 18 year olds now get ‘unconditional offers’ – what’s the problem?

What should we make of the recent UCAS  release that a third of 18 year olds now receive unconditional offers for university places? School and college representatives  are right to argue that this is a reflection of an  ‘out of control’ market based higher education system where universities  have to  chase students or face financial … Continue reading A third of 18 year olds now get ‘unconditional offers’ – what’s the problem?

Higher Education: a degree of difference

With few alternatives available after A-levels, young people will head off to university in huge numbers this month. From 2015, government lifted the cap on the number of students each institution can admit, with the knock-on effect being that many Russell universities are now accepting students  previously aiming for ‘middle’ institutions – if necessary, by … Continue reading Higher Education: a degree of difference

Cutting, or ending tuition fees?

In the context of a ‘review’ and a pending government announcement on HE funding, City investment broker Hargreaves Lansdown has put its financial and accounting expertise to more benevolent purposes. Remarkably it finds that neither a reduction of tuition fees to £6000 from the current £9000 plus per annum or a cut in interest … Continue reading Cutting, or ending tuition fees?

As Matthew Taylor publishes his report, its automation that’s the elephant in the room

Election discussion about the economy, employment, and skills, largely avoided any reference to the debate about automation and its consequences for work. Even if it’s accepted that technological progress will eliminate jobs (though there are major differences of opinion about how many) it’s also generally argued  that low-paid unskilled work will be replaced by new, … Continue reading As Matthew Taylor publishes his report, its automation that’s the elephant in the room

David Willetts last desperate proposals

Patrick Ainley David Willetts jumped before he was pushed by resigning from the Cabinet along with Michael Gove who was dismissed in Cameron’s cosmetic reshuffle. They won’t be back – Willetts hopes for a job in Europe while Gove may be editing the Daily Mail after May. Together Willetts and Gove attempted a Great Reversal … Continue reading David Willetts last desperate proposals

Labour’s new Technical degrees

Many of Labour’s education policy announcements are either clouded by vagueness or appear poorly thought through.  No more so than with the recent proposals for Technical Degrees. (  For example, David Miliband is accused by Professor Alison Wolf of both undermining the importance of Higher Level Apprenticeships and creating confusion over the status of the … Continue reading Labour’s new Technical degrees

‘Robbins Remembered and Dismembered’

Patrick Ainley 'Robbins Remembered and Dismembered, Contextualizing the anniversary' in Higher Education Quarterly Vol 68, Issue 2, pp.225-240 published online 28 Mar 2014. Download  onlineLibraryTPS 'With students everywhere complaining they are paying too much for too little, why do they keep applying? Prof Patrick Ainley decided to find out...' (p.9) Latitude Lookout February 2014 Latitude … Continue reading ‘Robbins Remembered and Dismembered’

Robbins Remembered and Dismembered

'Young people who succeed in education today find ascent difficult because most mobility is downwards' Patrick Ainley   argues that  widening participation  has not led to fair and equal access to higher education or outcomes in the labour market as systemic inequalities have deepened between institutions and subjects.  System-wide reform is therefore necessary as well as … Continue reading Robbins Remembered and Dismembered