Monday, 1 February 2010

Labour's ambitions

A recent article in Policy Review by David Lammy makes uncomfortable reading for the future of Science funding in particular, and UK universities in general.

I don't think it's a misinterpretation of the article to conclude that the minister's position is that
  • Britain's position in the world is declining. The standard of its universities is linked to its position in the world. Its universities are currently disproportionately good and should be less good.
  • Expensive-to-run courses (specifically "medicine, engineering and the natural sciences") will be cut by many universities, because they need too much money to run, and no-one wants to fund them, including the government.
  • The ambition of most universities is too lofty - to be universal in what subjects they offer, and doing blue-skies research that does not directly attract private funding is not commensurate with the government ambition for UK universities.

I wish it were a misinterpretation, though.


  1. funny how they don't have the same attitude to defence!

  2. I should perhaps have added, in the interest of balance, that there is also an article in the same edition of Policy Review by the shadow Universities secretary David Willetts. It is perhaps a bit less scary than David Lammy's article, but certainly makes clear that the Tories don't do much thinking about higher education.