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?

Budgets and the ‘magic money tree’

Phillip Hammond’s budget remains firmly located within Neo-liberal economics. The principle aim is to reduce and finally eliminate the budget deficit and so lower the size of the National Debt.  For the Neo-liberals public debt is a drag on the ‘real’  economy  as it suffocates  the private sector. But under pressure from Labour,  some of … Continue reading Budgets and the ‘magic money tree’

Book review: Who Are Universities For?

Book review: Who Are Universities For? Re-making higher education by TomSperlinger, Josie McLellan and Richard Pettigrew Patrick Ainley welcomes a book that rethinks the purpose of a university ­– and offers some radical suggestions of his own   (Originally published by the Council for the Defence of British Universities   http://cdbu.org.uk/ ) Everyone knows who universities are … Continue reading Book review: Who Are Universities For?

Labour, vocational education and skills

Labour has published its national policy forum response on education. There's  a great deal  to be welcomed, but for some areas, most notably  post-16 and Further Education, proposals are  largely absent and where they are addressed, are scant and uniformed. See the following quote on vocational and technical education for example: ‘ The Open University … Continue reading Labour, vocational education and skills

Knowledge and control

In a flashback to the 1970s and early 80s, last Tuesday's Guardian Education profiled sociologist Michael Young, then a curriculum radical,  author of books and articles on the relationship between knowledge, power and control and influential  in teacher education https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/oct/09/counterculture-class-warrior-turned-to-gove Young and colleagues argued that the school curriculum reflected the culture and interests of the … Continue reading Knowledge and control

There is a ‘magic money tree’

  Seems a bit silly.  Or is it?  Modern Monetary Theory reminds us that governments of countries  that have their own currencies and  floating exchange rates (like in the UK),  by implication,  can never 'run out of money' or have to be dependent on taxation revenue and private borrowing to finance their activities. In other … Continue reading There is a ‘magic money tree’