Category Archives: Access to Uni

This is about issues around social inequality and entry to/exit from university.

The Golden Age of The University

The Professor paused to conjure up an obscure metaphor for the letter he was writing to the local paper about the proposed Gypsy Traveller camp on the (opposite, thankfully) edge of his Berkshire village. Leaning back, he laid his Mont … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Uni, Early Career Academia, Employability, Globalisation, PhDs/Doctorates, Rankings, Student Loans, Tuition Fees | Leave a comment

Are Universities Guilty as Charged?

2017 was an annus horribilis for universities. They’ve come in for a lot of flak and this has the sector feeling under fire. I’m all for picking holes in the way that higher education works – it’s my job to … Continue reading

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Universities are the (spluttering) engines of social progress.

  Universities change the world, right? Well, sort of, but maybe not as much as they could or should…   Researching for the Greater Good Through their research, academics learn new things about the world, and this drives scientific and … Continue reading

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Is this the beginning of the end for tuition fees (as we know them)?

  The Higher Education Bill – currently passing through the hoops of parliamentary deliberation and approval – involves, for the first time, generating systematic data on graduates’ tax returns. The government sees this as leading one way, but I’m imagining … Continue reading

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New University Ranking – The Alpha Beta

The most recent addition to the panoply of UK university rankings, the Alpha Beta Ranking, was launched today. Aberdeen is ranked 1st, while Cambridge and Oxford, who usually fight tooth and nail for the top spot, languish in 30th and … Continue reading

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An educational test which is immune to education? They must be joking…except they’re not.

Let’s start with a general knowledge quiz: How many secretaries of state for education (i.e. Ministers for Education) in the UK in the last fifteen years have professional (and not just personal) experience of school? One. The rest have been, … Continue reading

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Are high student drop-out rates a sign of high or low quality?

My absence from the blogosphere has been enforced by the start of the new academic year: courses to run, classes to teach, new names to learn, bureaucratic kinks to iron out. It’s been a breathless few weeks. Today I’m turning … Continue reading

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Social Inequality is the bane of our education system. Am I right to be ashamed of myself?

  I’m a sociologist of education, and anyone familiar with this area knows that the notion that we live in a meritocratic society is a myth. Rather than education being a golden ticket to social mobility, the most disadvantaged in … Continue reading

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A luke warm date with the White Paper – condensing 83 pages into 2

The much-anticipated Higher Education White Paper was released on Monday, sending the Twittersphere and other social media outlets into overload. It had been preceded by a Green (consultation) Paper in November last year, but the White Paper sets out what … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Uni, Employability, Globalisation, International Students, PhDs/Doctorates, Student Loans, Tuition Fees | 1 Comment

Are universities ‘dumbing down’?

One of the things that has happened over the past 15 years or so is that the number of people going to university has risen very quickly. This is not just in the UK, but worldwide. As I’ve written elsewhere, this … Continue reading

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