As we approach the beginning of university terms, it appears that nobody is happy with the current system of financing higher education. Peter Ainsworth for the IEA has suggested a wholly new system which would make universities fully financially accountable for the financial success of their students, whilst Jeremy Corbyn would write off student debt ... Continue reading
The IEA’s Head of Education Dr Steve Davies and News Editor Kate Andrews discuss how farming technology is revolutionising our world. Although current discussions of the future of tech tend to focus on AI, automation and robotics, Steve explains how recent advancements in farming offer solutions some of the key crises of our time – ... Continue reading
I’ve just finished reading a new report on higher education by the think tank uk2020. It’s a pretty good diagnosis of some of the problems of UK higher education, making many of the points which the IEA has pushed over the last few years. Despite UK universities’ considerable successes – in high-level scientific research and ... Continue reading

IEA reacts to Government plans to intervene in university vice chancellors' pay

Commenting on the Government's plans to crack down on university vice-chancellor pay, Len Shackleton, Editorial Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: "Criticisms of vice-chancellors' pay is unfair and unjustified. Universities are freestanding institutions and should be allowed to set their pay structures as they see fit. They are not reliant on the ... Continue reading

Philip Booth writes for Conservative Home

Philip Booth, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs has written for Conservative Home on Britain's university system. In his article Philip argues that a thriving competitive higher education sector is the best way to maximise both the private and societal benefits of a university education. Picking winners and subsidising courses that politicians ... Continue reading
The publication of A-level results always occurs at a time when Parliament is out and not much is happening, consequently, it gets a big chunk of news coverage. And in most years there is controversy, with angry words from teachers’ unions, threats from some poor duty member of the opposition and a parade of anguished ... Continue reading

Len Shackleton writes for The Telegraph

Len Shackleton, Editorial Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs has written for The Telegraph on education and A-levels. In his article Len argues that the reforms intended to give A-levels a 'boost' have turned out in practice to be a damp squib as nothing much has changed. We need more competition among providers ... Continue reading
I am sure that many UK university staff share politicians’ anger over vice-chancellors’ pay levels. The average university leader’s salary hit £258,000 in 2015-16, according to Times Higher Education’s recent survey, rising to more than £280,000 when pension contributions are included. Moreover, those figures have risen substantially in recent years, while pay for academic and ... Continue reading

Sophie Sandor writes for Conservative Home

Sophie Sandor, Programmes Manager at the Institute of Economic Affairs has written for Conservative Home on how we can improve state schools. In her article Sophie argues that Conservative politicians should be deliberately using the virtues of the market to accelerate competition and innovation. As a first step, a policy incentivising for-profit organisations to set ... Continue reading
Universities minister Jo Johnson has reported that having a degree is worth on average £250,000 in higher lifetime earnings to a woman. “Remarkable”, you must be thinking. How can three years of being a student, instead of spending that time learning on the job and working one’s way up the career ladder, possibly make one ... Continue reading