BLOG INDEX


Academic Freedom

News round-up: University staff to be balloted on strike action

UCU has voted to support a motion calling for industrial action over pensions, pay and casualisation, with potential strikes looming before Christmas. Meanwhile, the sector has shown mixed reactions to the sacking of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson in the...

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CDBU Position Paper on Academic Freedom

The Council for the Defence of British Universities is pleased to publish its position paper on Academic Freedom brought together by three executive committee members: Dr Kelli Rudolph, Professor Susan Bruce and Professor John Holmwood. The paper articulates the...

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Casual Staff

News round-up:

THE LATEST CDBU NEWS: – New on the CDBU blog: 'Getting off the back foot – and taking the offensive' Words by Peter Scott, CDBU Trustee, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education and former Vice-Chancellor of Kingston...

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CDBU Updates

ANNOUNCING: CALL FOR FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECT

The Council for the Defence of British Universities invites applications to undertake research into any aspect of higher education in the UK, including governance, policy, curricula developments, and staff and student welfare and wellbeing. Comparisons...

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REVIEW: What Universities Owe Democracy

Review by Professor Julian Preece Ronald J. Daniels, the lead author of this original and much-needed book, has been President of Johns Hopkins  since 2007. He was previously head of the Law School at Toronto, then Provost at Pennsylvania. Universities have not only...

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Events

CDBU Launch Meeting at the British Academy

BY Gordon Campbell (University of leicester) CDBU will be formally launched at an Inaugural Meeting at the British Academy next Tuesday, 13 November. Drawing up the list of those invited to attend this initial meeting has not been easy: the space available to us is...

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Free Speech


Government

News round-up:

THE LATEST CDBU NEWS: – New on the CDBU blog: 'Getting off the back foot – and taking the offensive' Words by Peter Scott, CDBU Trustee, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education and former Vice-Chancellor of Kingston...

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Grade Inflation


Higher Education And Research Act

The mysterious letters in the library

Opinion Piece by G. R. Evans The Higher Education and Research Bill has now had seven sessions before the Lords in Committee, ending on 30 January. As Lord Willetts acknowledged, it has become ‘famous’ for the sheer number of ‘letters’ promised to various Peers at the...

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Uses and Abuses of Economics in the Debate on Universities

Report on CDBU Annual Lecture 2017 by Dorothy Bishop Last night, Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, delivered a splendid lecture with the title “Uses and Abuses of Economics in the Debate on Universities”. It is not possible to do this...

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Humanities

Thinking about Higher Education

Words by Ronald Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, University College London.  Can we really think about higher education?   To what extent are there spaces in universities for collective thinking about higher education?   And to the extent...

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News round-up:

THE LATEST CDBU NEWS: – New on the CDBU blog: 'Getting off the back foot – and taking the offensive' Words by Peter Scott, CDBU Trustee, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education and former Vice-Chancellor of Kingston...

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The Interdependence of Academic Freedom and Protest

Words by Dr Heather McKnight, founder of the social enterprise Magnetic Ideals and Doctor of Legal Studies. In 1970, the Commission on Academic Freedom and the Law (CAFL) released research exposing changes in how universities were using the law: a discontinuity that...

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Marketisation

Thinking about Higher Education

Words by Ronald Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, University College London.  Can we really think about higher education?   To what extent are there spaces in universities for collective thinking about higher education?   And to the extent...

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News Round-Up

News round-up:

THE LATEST CDBU NEWS: – New on the CDBU blog: 'Getting off the back foot – and taking the offensive' Words by Peter Scott, CDBU Trustee, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education and former Vice-Chancellor of Kingston...

read more

News round-up: University staff to be balloted on strike action

UCU has voted to support a motion calling for industrial action over pensions, pay and casualisation, with potential strikes looming before Christmas. Meanwhile, the sector has shown mixed reactions to the sacking of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson in the...

read more

News round-up: Visa delays hinder students’ year abroad plans

Post-Brexit visa delays have hindered UK students' hopes of studying in Europe, with many reporting that it has become increasingly difficult to obtain appointments at embassies to secure the necessary paperwork. Meanwhile, there has been widespread criticism of the...

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Office-For-Students

The New Model University

Words by Professor David Midgley.  The writing was on the wall in January. It was then that the government published its response to Dame Shirley Pearce’s review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework, commonly known as the TEF.  Dame...

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We need to talk about academic freedom

Words by Eric Lybeck, Presidential Academic Fellow at the Manchester Institute of Education. Yesterday, Policy Exchange published a report on academic freedom in British universities drawing on a flawed survey with inconclusive results. This did not stop major...

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Opinion

REVIEW: What Universities Owe Democracy

Review by Professor Julian Preece Ronald J. Daniels, the lead author of this original and much-needed book, has been President of Johns Hopkins  since 2007. He was previously head of the Law School at Toronto, then Provost at Pennsylvania. Universities have not only...

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Thinking about Higher Education

Words by Ronald Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, University College London.  Can we really think about higher education?   To what extent are there spaces in universities for collective thinking about higher education?   And to the extent...

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Part-Time Students

Part-time students in decline

Opinion piece by Dorothy Bishop My mother came to England after the war, having met my father when working as a translator for the British Forces in allied-occupied Germany. She’d come from an academic family in Gottingen, and it’s hard to imagine her state of mind in...

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Pensions


Publications

Ross McKibbin Advises Opposing Marketeers on Their Own Ground

One of the leading historians of twentieth-century Britain, Dr Ross McKibbin of St John's College Oxford, has greeted the foundation of the CDBU  with an insightful piece 'In Defence of British Universities' in the London Review of Books. Those who would defend...

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Salford VC Martin Hall joins CDBU

Professor Martin Hall, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford and historical archaeologist, has written a piece in support of CDBU on his personal blog, which has also been reproduced on the higher education blog Wonkhe. Here are a few excerpts: The CDBU is...

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CDBU in the International Herald Tribune

The CDBU was recently featured in an article in the International Herald Tribune. The piece was subsequently reprinted in the New York Times. Here’s an excerpt: “Universities are among the U.K.’s most successful institutions,” Howard Hotson, chair of the council’s...

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Melvyn Bragg writes about CDBU’s launch in the Telegraph

Writer, broadcaster and CDBU Founding Member Melvyn Bragg (pictured here on the right) recently wrote a short piece in the Telegraph about the CDBU’s launch last week. Here’s an excerpt: The meeting – which lasted precisely one and a half hours, as it was billed to do...

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REF

It’s time to abolish the REF – here’s how to do it

The REF is partly responsible for universities’ present ills, but if we get rid of it, we need to find an alternative model for allocating research funding. Norman Gowar, former principal of Royal Holloway, University of London, suggests a way forward As always it was...

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Scotland


TEF

The Augar report: everything you need to know

You might not have had the time to wade through last week’s 200-page Augar Review on higher education. Fortunately, David Midgley, emeritus professor of German literature and intellectual history at the University of Cambridge, has written an essential  guide to the...

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A robust analysis of the crisis in universities

Professor David Midgley reviews English Universities in Crisis: Markets without Competition, by Jefferson Frank, Norman Gowar and Michael Naef   The policy objectives against which this book measures the effectiveness of the current system for funding and...

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Tuition fees

Cooling the crisis out

"If we wish to change the model, to have higher education serve the public, students and academics, and not as a Ponzi scheme floated on a bubble of student fees, we need to act now", argues John Holmwood. The financial crisis facing the higher education sector is...

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UKRI

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Universities UK

Universities need to end their silence

Statement from the Council for the Defence of British Universities on A-level results. English universities have been remarkably silent about the fiasco over Ofqual’s determination of A-level grades. Universities UK issued an extraordinarily misjudged...

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Universities UK – who does it represent and what does it do?

Professor GR Evans looks at the history of an organisation that has rarely been out of the news in recent weeks – and asks what powers it really has   Universities UK has been in the news recently during the upset caused by the proposals to make major changes to...

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University funding

An alternative vision for the future of Roehampton

This report was contributed to CDBU by Vision for Roehampton, a grassroots campaign organized by members of the UCU Roehampton branch. It is the third in our series titled 'Manifestos for Change', in which we are seeking forward-thinking responses to the present...

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Cooling the crisis out

"If we wish to change the model, to have higher education serve the public, students and academics, and not as a Ponzi scheme floated on a bubble of student fees, we need to act now", argues John Holmwood. The financial crisis facing the higher education sector is...

read more

An alternative vision for the future of Roehampton

This report was contributed to CDBU by Vision for Roehampton, a grassroots campaign organized by members of the UCU Roehampton branch. It is the third in our series titled 'Manifestos for Change', in which we are seeking forward-thinking responses to the present...

read more


Widening access

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