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University challenges

The debate about British higher education will soon hot up again. The sector cannot continue as a nationalised industry. The best alternative is not privatisation but a mixed-economy partnership, as in the US

By Robert Jackson   April 2006

Many readers of Prospect will have views about the future of Britain’s universities based on memories of their days at college, perhaps half a generation ago. Those views, and public opinion in general, matter: higher education (HE) is a big political issue. We are now experiencing a lull after the storm of the debates about tuition fees two years ago. But during this parliament the arguments will hot up again—about fees, about the access of people from less advantaged backgrounds to HE, about HE’s scale and purpose, and about the role of the state in relation to universities.

Those whose…

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