Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Dig out your balaclavas

When I was at university (rather a long time ago) we didn't see much of Professor James Drever, the head of our psychology department, because he was serving on the Royal Commission looking into the future of higher education.
The report they produced led to the explosion in the number of universities which saw the proportion of students at them rise from about five per cent to its current figure of well above 40.
If you ignore the small amount of anarchic violence at yesterday's demonstration and even if you put aside the impact on the future of young people which massive debts will have, what the Government is planning to do to higher education is shocking.
It is going to send this country back to the era almost half a century ago when Professor Drever and his colleagues set the pattern for a society in which university education could become the norm for most middle-class young people.
Britain remains the only country in the civilised world in which education is looked down on. Young people are accused of being uninterested in politics (not true) and having it easy (not true) yet a great weight of public opinion thinks it is a waste of time educating them unless they are going to do something practical.
There clearly is something seriously wrong with an education system which produces citizens who are so ignorant that they can't see the intrinsic value for society in educating future generations.
Maybe public money shouldn't be used to entirely fund higher education, though I am not sure that is right. But what is being proposed is to virtually withdraw it entirely. There may be 24 universities which will lose their complete grant and another 73 will have their teaching budgets slashed by more than 75 per cent, according to Left Foot Forward.
In other words, higher education is being shrunk - with some universities closing and a vastly increased number of young people going straight on to the dole queue from school - and privatised.
I am afraid it makes even me feel like rioting.

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