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Why Britain? The Privatization of the World’s Best Public University System

May 8, 2012

An event in Oxford at the Sheldonian Theatre on Tuesday 22 May from 5pm to 7pm.  Organised by the Humanities Division Discussion Forum.

Why Britain? The Privatization of the World’s Best Public University System

Professor James Vernon, Astor Visiting Lecturer and Chancellor’s Chair in History, University of California, Berkeley, will lead a discussion on the development of higher education in Britain in the Sheldonian Theatre from 5 – 6.30 pm on 22 May.

 There will be responses from:

 Andrew McGettigan, commentator on HE through his blog ‘Critical Education’

David Sweeney, Director (Research, Innovation and Skills) Higher Education Funding Council for England

Professor Shearer West, Head of the Humanities Division and former Head of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council

Professor Vernon will argue: Disinvestment of publicly funded university systems is a global phenomena stretching across the Americas, the Middle East, South Asia and Europe.  Yet the de facto privatization of the British university (Scotland partially excepted) since the Browne report has been the most rapid and complete. The past year has witnessed a good deal of protest and hand-wringing but few effective analyses of why and how this has happened.  This discussion seeks to answer those questions in a historical examination of the post-Robbins university and the emergence of a critique that it failed to achieve its promise of improving access and social mobility.

 All members of the University are welcome to attend.



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