Time for a Retrospective Graduate Tax?

The escalating movement against cuts in higher education teaching funding, linked to potentially huge hikes in teaching fees to £9,000 a year, has taken most commentators by surprise. The scale of the protests, so quickly after policy was announced, is unusual and suggests a deep reaction is underway. Continue reading “Time for a Retrospective Graduate Tax?”

Welfare Reform: it’s the implementation, stupid

It has entered popular mythology that in the 1992 US Presidential election Bill Clinton’s adviser James Carville hung a notice over Clinton’s desk that said “it’s the economy, stupid”. (It didn’t quite happen like that, but it’s close enough.) Continue reading “Welfare Reform: it’s the implementation, stupid”

Department Business Plans – new wine in old bottles?

The Coalition government has announced today (8 Nov 2010) a series of ‘Departmental Business Plans’, following up on the Spending Review announcements last month. These plans are supposed to be “revolutionary” in several ways. But this ‘revolution’ is more spin than substance, with much of what they are doing simply following in the footsteps of previous governments – Conservative as well as Labour. Continue reading “Department Business Plans – new wine in old bottles?”

University Fees and Muddled Motives

On this morning’s Today programme Education minister Michael Gove – reputedly a man of great intelligence – maintained that raising University tuition fees to nearly 3 times their current level for some Universities would have absolutely no effect on levels of applications from students from lower and middle income backgrounds. Continue reading “University Fees and Muddled Motives”