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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2001): Education - UK -Higher

THE ACADEMIC PROFESSION IN BRITAIN: A STUDY IN THE FAILURE TO ADAPT TO CHANGE

M. Shattock

Higher Education, vol. 41, 2001, p. 27-47

Article describes the impact of mass higher education and increasing financial stringency on the academic profession in Britain. The profession has fragmented and salary levels have fallen comparatively. Argues that the profession has failed to adapt to the changes and that its continued adherence to a common salary scale represents a constraint on the system as a whole.

HIGHER EDUCATION: ACCESS

Select Committee on Education

London: TSO, 2001. (House of Commons papers. Session 2000/01; HC 205)

Recommends bribing universities to admit more students from disadvantaged areas, formal training for admissions tutors and the abolition of the practice of awarding places on the basis of predicted A level results. This could only be done if A levels were brought forward to the Spring.

LABOUR RULES OUT "TOP-UP" FEES AT ELITE UNIVERSITIES

B. Russell

Independent, Feb. 9th 2001, p. 8

The Secretary of State for Education has announced in the House of Commons that Labour, if re-elected, will not allow elite universities to charge "top-up" fees.

(See also Financial Times, Feb. 9th 2001, p. 2)

THE RESEARCH ASSESSMENT EXERCISE AND THE REFORM OF ACADEMIC TENURE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

A.W. Dnes and J. S. Seaton

Contemporary Economic Policy, vol. 19, 2001, p. 39-48

Differences in performance exist between universities which had hard tenure before the 1988 Education Reform Act and those that had a softer form of tenure. In hard tenure universities it was almost impossible to get rid of faculty, but in soft tenure institutions they could be dismissed for financial reasons. The differences persist after the passing of the Act, which suggests that tenure traditions have set up a culture that is not easily disrupted. This lack of change matches a widespread opinion in university circles that the Act did not change things very much.

A SHODDY PLOT TO SAVE GORDON BROWN'S FACE

A. Smith

Times, Feb. 7th 2001, p. 18

The Education Select Committee report on university admissions recommends bribing universities to take more students from deprived areas while on the other hand supporting admission on merit. These two recommendations are mutually exclusive.

STATE PUPIL ENTRIES AT OXFORD PULL AHEAD

B. Russell

Independent, Jan. 29th 2001, p. 12

Provisional figures show that this year 42.2% of state school applicants won a place at Oxford University, marginally ahead of privately educated students for whom the figure was 41.7%. The figures also show a big increase in state school undergraduates since 1995, when the Oxford entrance exam was dropped in favour of selection by interview. Separate statistics also show that former state school pupils gained the same proportion of first class degrees at Oxford as their privately educated counterparts.

STUDENTS "WILL BE ££7,000 IN DEBT WHEN COURSES END"

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Jan. 18th 2001, p. 6

Reports results of a Mori survey showing that students owe an average of £3,300 each and expect to owe £7,000 by the time they leave college. Students who lived at home anticipated a debt of £6,000 and were more likely to work part-time to earn money. The rise in student debt was attributable to introduction of tuition fees.

TORIES PLAN TAX RELIEF ON STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENTS

G. Jones

Daily Telegraph, Jan. 19th 2001, p. 2

Conservatives have proposed far reaching reforms of the student loan system, including: a raising the salary threshold at which graduates start repaying loans from £10,000 to £20,000; charging commercial interest rates; granting tax relief on repayments; and, offering a fixed period for the repayment of loans of at least 10 years.

UNIVERSITY FACES FINE OVER TOP-UP PLAN

G. Owen

Times, Jan. 30th 2001, p. 10

Reports that Aston University is threatening to introduce top-up fees for students. It predicts that the fees, which are prohibited by the government, would raise £601,000 in 2002/03, £1.19m in 2003/04 and £1.73m in 2004/05.