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Degrees of failure: why it’s time to reconsider how we run our universities

They have grown vast—and vastly expensive. Time to stop and ask whether something's gone wrong

By Alison Wolf   August 2017

No austerity here: The extension of the Jubilee Campus at the University of Nottingham. Photo: Arcaid/UIG Via Getty Images

Among the world’s major institutions, only the Catholic Church has operated, uninterrupted, for longer than the universities. They are the source of how we think and what we know, and have formed western elites for centuries. They still do, but in the last half-century they have been transformed—in size, but also in their social impact and political importance. In England most universities have been enjoying a glorious 21st century. But…

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