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

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

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

Dr Steve Davies writes for City A.M.

With universities hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak and falling student numbers, especially from abroad, City A.M.'s Debate column asks "Do we need a government rescue plan to save UK universities?". Dr Steve Davies, IEA Head of Education, says NO, arguing higher education is "a classic example of a sector that has over expanded and ... Continue reading

Annabel Denham writes for CapX

Given eight million households in Britain have school-aged children, it is "nonsensical" to talk of opening the economy while schools remain shut, writes Annabel Denham in CapX. Instead, the IEA's Director of Communications suggests think beyond the binary choice of June or September, and get kids back to school in July or August, figuring out ... Continue reading

Prof Len Shackleton writes for 1828

The IFS report is an interesting and useful piece of analysis, but its findings are not a simple guide to policy, says the IEA's editorial and research fellow Prof Len Shackleton. Writing for 1828, Len argues that "closing courses by central diktat" would almost certainly disproportionately penalise potential students from poorer backgrounds. He adds that ... Continue reading
One of the author's of the winning entry for the 2019 Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize has summarised their essay for Conservative Home. Peter Ainsworth, wrote co-wrote the winning entry with Dr Tom McKenzie, writes that "by re-arranging the flows of money into higher education so that universities, rather than the government, lend to their students, ... Continue reading