Emily Carver writes for ConHome

When Tony Blair pledged to send 50% of young people to university, many people questioned why.  Two decades later, the target has been hit, but the mountain of evidence shows that the goal has neither boosted social mobility nor led to higher productivity. Writing for ConHome, the IEA's Media Manager Emily Carver argues that 'we ... Continue reading

Annabel Denham writes for Reaction

The pandemic has crystallised and clarified pre-existing concerns that Tony Blair’s expansion policy was 'a hugely expensive scam' and wholesale reform is needed. Writing for Reaction, the IEA's Director of Communications, Annabel Denham argues that 'Covid-19 will force us to re-examine HE’s nature, its place in society, and the value of the higher-level education for ... Continue reading

Dr Stephen Davies writes for City AM

The pandemic has accelerated rather than caused a crisis in HE, exposing a structural weakness that goes back to the late 1980s, writes the IEA's Dr Stephen Davies. Writing for City AM, Steve argues that 'we should seize the opportunity for a radical rethink of the purpose of HE, and move to a system that ... Continue reading
Education
In 1999 the Blair government set an official target of having 50 per cent of 18-year-olds attending university and turned the expansion of numbers from an aspiration to an actuality. The reasons for this policy, supported by both parties, were economic rather than educational in the traditional sense. It was thought that expanding student numbers ... Continue reading
Research

Reshaping the UK's Higher Education for the post-pandemic world

Summary Covid-19 is bursting the bubble in universities and higher education (HE), exposing the fundamentally unsound nature of the policy of successive governments and of the entire array of HE institutions. Many institutions were in a weak financial position prior to the pandemic. They are now facing a massive cash-flow crisis. The present difficulties could ... Continue reading

A new IEA briefing paper outlines how Covid-19 has burst the university bubble, opening up opportunity for reform

Covid-19 is exposing the fundamentally unsound nature of the policy of successive governments and of the entire array of Higher Education (HE) institutions; Many universities were in a weak financial position prior to the pandemic. They are now facing a "massive cashflow crisis"; The present difficulties could lead to a permanent fall in demand for ... Continue reading
Education
Great controversy has followed the decision by OFQUAL, the exam regulator for England, to downgrade some 40% of teacher-assessed A-level results. It follows a similar row in Scotland where the figure is nearer a quarter for Highers. This is in the context of pandemic-inspired cancellations where the results are based on expert guesswork not exams. ... Continue reading

Annabel Denham writes for The Sunday Express

For the vast majority of the British public who since March have 'obeyed' the lockdown rules, 'the rhetoric coming from those in positions of authority over the past week is a terrible insult', writes the IEA's Director of Communications, Annabel Denham. Writing for the Daily Express, Annabel argues that: 'Regardless of age, we are no ... Continue reading

Annabel Denham writes for The Telegraph

In an article for The Telegraph, IEA Director of Communications Annabel Denham asks whether "preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed" has been sidelined as justification for lockdowns. Have the goalposts been moved without anyone noticing? And had we been told in March that lockdowns would be imposed until the virus had been eradicated or vaccine ... Continue reading
Although teachers’ pay has slipped back in recent years, it is still a secure job carrying a goodish pension. So the news that teachers have been awarded a pay increase greater than that for nurses will have raised many eyebrows. Whatever the questions over the NHS bureaucracy’s performance in the Covid-19 crisis, very many ordinary ... Continue reading