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Initial thoughts on the Augar Review

Initial thoughts on the Augar Review

The Augar Review of Post-18 Education was published today. Excellent summaries can be found on Wonkhe and elsewhere. My initial thoughts on its recommendations are below. Overall, it’s a highly thorough, thoughtful and evidence-based report. Weighing in at 216 pages, it’s packed full of statistics and charts and has made a real effort to get under the skin of the systemic pressures on institutions that drive the behaviour of the sector. The recommendations are similarly nuanced and costed rather than…

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‘Don’t know they’re born’

‘Don’t know they’re born’

A major reason why young social progressives are turning against free speech is that they can’t imagine being in a situation where the authorities don’t share their values. This comes across very clearly in conversations about the limits of free speech, academic freedom, freedom of association and similar. Many are thoughtful, considered, reasonable people, willing to contemplate that maybe some ‘dangerous’ or ‘offensive’ ideas should be allowed to discussed, within certain limits. But as the conversation continues, you realise the…

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Wonkhe: In Defence of Academic Freedon

Wonkhe: In Defence of Academic Freedon

In my latest piece for Wonkhe I defend academic freedom and the importance of allowing those who would challenge orthodoxy to speak out without being silenced. I also set out some simple steps which university leaders could take to defend this freedom against those who would suppress any dissent. You can read the full article below: https://wonkhe.com/blogs/in-defence-of-academic-freedom/

Harvard descends to new lows in the war on academic freedom

Harvard descends to new lows in the war on academic freedom

It’s a fundamental of our system of justice that anyone accused of a crime, however vile, deserves a fair trial and the right to a defence. This applies to everyone: murderers, rapists, terrorists, racists, paedophiles – and even Harvey Weinstein. Defence lawyers who take on these unpalatable cases are understood to be fulfilling an essential role in the justice system, not to be personally supporting murder or terrorism. The students and authorities at Harvard University clearly think otherwise. This weekend,…

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Wonkhe: What happens to your consultation responses?

Wonkhe: What happens to your consultation responses?

In my latest piece on Wonkhe, I shed some light on how the government goes about processing responses to a consultation. Read the full article by following the link below. https://wonkhe.com/blogs/what-happens-to-your-consultation-responses/

HEPI: Comparing a numbers cap with an attainment threshold

HEPI: Comparing a numbers cap with an attainment threshold

In my latest blog for the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), I consider whether a numbers cap or an attainment threshold would be preferable, should the government choose to limit the number of people who can enter higher education. You can read the full article here.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Brexit

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Brexit

My latest post on Wonkhe considers five silver linings for the university sector on Brexit. ” Our sector’s values and culture are not determined by whether laws are made in Brussels, Westminster or Holyrood. Regardless of what deal we leave on, or whether we leave on no deal at all, I’m confident that Britain’s universities will continue to be global, outwardly looking and cosmopolitan places, extending a welcoming hand to people from across the world.”

Wonkhe: The virtues of university giving

Wonkhe: The virtues of university giving

In my latest article for Wonkhe, I set out the moral case for why graduates should seriously consider donating to their university. As it’s a Wonkhe piece, the piece is written for an audience of those who work in the university sector, but the core messages and arguments apply to any graduate who feels they’ve benefited from their education. Read the full piece below: https://wonkhe.com/blogs/the-virtues-of-university-giving/

Conservative Home: £9,250 tuition fees: Bad for students, Bad for Society, Bad for the Conservative Party

Conservative Home: £9,250 tuition fees: Bad for students, Bad for Society, Bad for the Conservative Party

In my latest Conservative Home article I set out why a major reduction in university tuition fees (replaced by teaching grant based on the cost to deliver the coursr) isn’t just the right thing to do for public policy reasons, but makes good electoral sense for the Conservatives as well. Read the full article here: Iain Mansfield: £9,250 fees are bad for students, bad for society, and bad for the Conservatives

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