State monopoly on universities must be broken

“The select committee’s inquiry has lifted the lid on the dumbing-down of our universities. Universities’ success traditionally depended on selecting high performers who could be educated to degree standard in just three years with few drop-outs. An attempt has been made to create a mass higher education system in this image. But inevitably some of the students drawn in have been less well prepared and slower to learn and some universities have struggled to justify themselves. Older universities seeing students barely able to pass A-levels given firsts and 2:1s thought they were undervaluing their triple-A students and upped the classes awarded. To fix the situation we have to escape the long-established position in which governments tend to abuse their status as monopoly customers …” (more)

[Alan Smithers, Sunday Times, 8 March]


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