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Words by Dr Alexis Artaud de La Ferrière, Lecturer in Sociology at Royal Holloway. In what is called the Humanity Formula of his Categorical Imperative, Immanuel Kant states that we should never act in such a way that we treat humanity as a means only; but instead that we should always treat humanity as an...
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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 that there are such spaces, do they not contain prompts and guard-rails that subtly steer thought...
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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 both marked and reflected the historical moment. The joint commission between the National...
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Words by Peter Scott, CDBU Trustee, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education and former Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University.  Universities are not popular – with politicians. They are very popular with the hundreds of thousands of applicants and their families, who now see ‘going to uni’ not just as an...
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‘On the Nature of Academic Freedom’ Kindly contributed by Professor Dr. Peter-André Alt, President of the German Rectors’ Conference. Adapted from a speech given at the CDBU AGM.   In early May, the German Rectors’ Conference published two statements. And although both are only brief statements, the symbolic significance of these two interventions cannot be...
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Words by Dr Jon Hall, senior lecturer at the Open University and CDBU’s Company Secretary. “Accessing our creativity is a fantastic way to top up our resilience.”Chief Operating Officer, North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust  Resilience means being able to bounce back after a blow, after a tragedy, after a crisis. With reserves sufficient...
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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 nature and importance of academic freedom as a public good and highlights the challenges it currently...
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PRESS RELEASE: JULY 6, 2021   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 nature and importance of academic freedom as a public good...
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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 Shirley’s carefully argued and judiciously worded report had pointed out that the best way...
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Words by Patrick Ainley, former professor of training and education at the University of Greenwich and regular contributor to the Post-16 Educator. The ‘Skills for Jobs’ Bill proposed in the Queen’s speech last week and introduced to Parliament today ‘is not a serious attempt to create a vocational education system linked to the transformative, socially-just...
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