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HE White Paper: a reckless gamble with university education

July 12, 2011

A post for wonkhe:

HE White Paper: a reckless gamble with university education

The Government’s White Paper, Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System, is a reckless gamble with university education in England.  An opportunistic, ideologically-driven document, it uses the excuse of deficit reduction to transfer much of the burden of financing undergraduate degrees, which it conflates with training for employability, to the individual graduate; it promotes consumerism and competition with a view to producing a wide variation in the resources available to institutions so as to stratify degree quality; it misrepresents social mobility accordingly by advocating the slotting of ‘talent’ into its appropriate tier; it presents a charter for privatization with a calculated attack on the notion of the public university, both creating conditions that support new, ‘alternative’ providers with public money (some potentially for-profit) and promising to make it easier for established universities to ditch their charitable status to increase access to private finance.

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