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If Tony Blair’s backbench dissenters on top-up fees cannot be persuaded by any other means, it may be time to appeal to their distrust of America. Continued decline of Britain’s top universities would certainly mean a further brain drain to US colleges and the threat of intellectual and scientific overdependence on America. As David Soskice, one of the architects of Labour’s higher education plans, put it in a Prospect roundtable on the issue one year ago: “Different countries have their own problems. It is frightening to imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have top-class academics thinking about…

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