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Who rules Oxford?

Both critics and supporters of Oxford University's reform are doomed to disappointment

By Alan Ryan   July 2006

University governance is a subject for insomniacs. It is uninteresting in itself, and irrelevant to the everyday lives of even academics and students. It appeals to New Labour because of a characteristic delusion that if you can establish the right system of accountability, efficiency will follow—to which one reply is: “Enron.” There was nothing wrong with the corporate structure of Enron; it just happened to be run by crooks.

Universities aren’t run by crooks; to the extent that there have been scandals in post-secondary education, they have occurred in colleges directly under the control of local government. So why has…

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