Two news items I caught over the weekend in my desperation to avoid anything obviously Brexit-y:  both about higher education, both showing how politicians and bureaucrats misunderstand incentives. The first was Damien Hinds’ threat of fines of up to £500,000 if universities continue to hand out more and more first-class degrees. The degree classification system, ... Continue reading

Len Shackleton writes for City AM

Len Shackleton, Editorial Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs has written for the City AM debate column, arguing why the proposal for an extra year of free education is a sticking plaster for the status quo. Most school-leavers in further education are either redoing examinations which they should have completed successfully in schools, ... Continue reading
While Friedrich Hayek penned The Road to Serfdom in wartime Britain, on the other side of the world another Viennese exile was composing a great anti-totalitarian text. That work became The Open Society and Its Enemies, by Karl Popper, Hayek’s friend and correspondent. Written during Popper’s tenure at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, ... Continue reading

Nerissa Chesterfield appears on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme

Nerissa Chesterfield, Head of Communications at the Institute of Economic Affairs has appeared on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme to discuss funding for museums. In the interview Nerissa argues that the taxpayer shouldn't be subsidising museums and forcing cultural interests on people. If you do, you are forcing taxpayers to pay for something whether ... Continue reading
Before reading this book, I viewed the phenomena of 'snowflake' protests and extreme political correctness on American campuses as being essentially comic. From the viral Youtube clips I had seen, I assumed it to be manufactured outrage cynically engineered by those who fear that their theories are too weak to withstand opposing viewpoints, supported by attention-seeking radicals looking for a ... Continue reading

Mark Littlewood writes for The Times

Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, has written an article for The Times on the need for reform in universities. Although the rewards of attending university are not exclusively about career earnings, there is little doubt the prospect of enhanced wages are a key factor in the decisions made by school ... Continue reading
The Institute of Economic Affairs is commissioning lifestyle economics papers as part of its research output in 2019. Our lifestyle unit has been publishing research on paternalistic regulation since 2013, subjecting topical policy proposals to rigorous economic analysis to reveal the costs, benefits and unintended consequences of taxation and regulation. We have covered a wide ... Continue reading
Humanists UK is stepping up its campaign against faith schools. The organisation made headlines last week, following the appointment of Professor Alice Roberts as its new President. Roberts has since announced her intention to spearhead a campaign against the state funding of faith schools. These developments – along with the discovery that Roberts sends her ... Continue reading
The world of academia may seem remote from everyday politics. But it would be wrong to conclude that the arguments made by university scholars do not matter for Westminster. In fact, the ideas that dominate in universities at any given time typically go on to strongly influence public debate and policy. This isn’t surprising, as ... Continue reading

Steve Davies writes for City A.M.

Steve Davies, education director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, has written an article for City A.M. about the opening of the new Vinson Centre at the University of Buckingham. The problem is that discussion within academic life is currently overwhelmingly dominated by one particular perspective. We can best describe the typical view as being technocratic, ... Continue reading