Education

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    Why going to university in Britain is still a wise investment

Why going to university in Britain is still a wise investment

Dennis A. Ahlburg responds to the argument that there is no return on investment in higher education in Britain. He writes that, whilst there is no guarantee that all graduates will have higher incomes, for a large subset this will indeed be the case. He highlights the importance of helping students to make more informed decisions about which university […]

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    Why has no other European country adopted the Research Excellence Framework?

Why has no other European country adopted the Research Excellence Framework?

Most European countries have followed the UK’s lead in developing performance-based research funding systems (PRFS) for their universities. However, what these countries have not done is adopt the same system, the Research Excellence Framework being its most recent iteration. Instead, many use indicators of institutional performance for funding decisions rather than panel evaluation and peer review. Gunnar Sivertsen has examined systems […]

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    Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: the betrayal of a whole generation?

Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: the betrayal of a whole generation?

Is the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland working? If not, can it be changed? Lindsay Paterson explains the reasons behind the recent disquiet and writes that although it may be a plausible culprit for the decline in students’ performance, the curriculum is so deeply embedded that removing it would cause enormous upheaval. And, since children get only one chance […]

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    Narrowing participation: calculating the likely impact of two-year degrees isn’t simple maths

Narrowing participation: calculating the likely impact of two-year degrees isn’t simple maths

Can university degrees be accelerated? This is the question a recent government consultation seeks to answer. Steven Jones writes that, mathematically, three years of learning could indeed be compressed into two. But he explains why the option would be viewed very differently across social classes, and why it is not a good idea.

For some, the numbers are straightforward. You […]

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    England is still educating different classes for different functions in society

England is still educating different classes for different functions in society

The working classes still get less of everything in education, including respect, argues Diane Reay. She suggests that in order to move towards a fairer educational system, the UK needs to implement a National Education Service that provides the same standards and level of resources to all children, regardless of class and ethnic background.

Historically, the English educational system has educated […]

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    How to start dismantling white privilege in higher education

How to start dismantling white privilege in higher education

Racism is still alive and well in US and UK academia, writes Kalwant Bhopal. She argues that to dismantle it, there is a need for radical action from universities, which must start by acknowledging the existence of institutional racism and white privilege. 

Despite many claims to the contrary, racism is alive and well and robustly shaping the educational experiences of […]

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    What a fairer tuition fees system would look like and how it may be achieved

What a fairer tuition fees system would look like and how it may be achieved

Carl Cullinane explains why a system of stepped fees and restored maintenance grants would reduce average levels of debt, and target resources at those from low-income households who need it the most, at a more moderate cost to the taxpayer.

Since university tuition fees were introduced in 1998, the issue has become a political flashpoint for successive governments, and Theresa […]

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    On genetics and social mobility: why Toby Young’s structural inequality argument is not science

On genetics and social mobility: why Toby Young’s structural inequality argument is not science

Is intelligence determined by genetic factors? Questions such as this are regularly being debated, a recent example having been an article by Toby Young on what schools can be expected to achieve in light of scientific evidence on cognitive ability. Leon Feinstein explains what science actually says, and, most importantly, what it doesn’t say about heritability.

In October 2017 Teach […]