One of the Founding  Members of the Council for the Defense of British Universities (CDBU), the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, is to debate against David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, on the subjectCan British Universities Keep Ahead in a Global Future?”.

The debate will take place on Wednesday, 12th December. It is organised by the think-tank Politeia, which is not affiliated with the CDBU.

Subjects to be debated by Lord Rees and David Willetts MP will be:

  • To what extent does official policy for funding research help or hinder our scientists and scholars to maintain the traditional lead of British universities in teaching and research?
  • How can greater diversity be introduced into the system?
  • What can we learn from successful overseas models, to ensure that university education remains available to a wide range of society?

Lord Rees explains in Politeia’s new study, University Diversity: Freedom, Excellence and Funding for a Global Future (published on Monday 22nd of October) why the current direction of policy should be modified in four important respects: greater freedom and autonomy is needed for research institutions, a greater diversity of institutions, courses and teaching methods should be promoted by the government, the funding regime must change, as it has left UK universities more burdened than competitors in the US and Europe, and finally, access arrangements must change.

Due to high demand, space at the debate will be limited. If you would like to attend, please email Secretary2@politeia.co.uk with your name, organisation, position and email address. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Rt Hon David Willetts MP v. Professor Lord Rees
Wednesday 12th December, 6.30-7.30pm
Rugby Room, East India Club, 16 St James’s Square
London SW1Y 4LH