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Showing posts from February, 2018

The review of post-18 education and funding: Who is Philip Augar?

Who is Philip Augar? Maybe the starving cotton workers in England in the 19 th Century, as a consequence of a civil war in America  that paralysed their industry, still haunts him. Theresa May revealed today that Philip Augar will chair the review into post-18 education and funding. Some will know of his writing on the stage of the financial sector and banking both in the UK and wider afield. Some will fear what he will bring to the table as he may seek to dismantle the whole UK tertiary education system in the UK. His article of 2010 “ A better way to break up the banks ” ( ) is telling in this respect. With regard to regulation of banking and investment he notes; “ A simpler and more effective approach would be to prohibit banks that traded for customers or for themselves from giving advice to clients .” For ‘banks’ substitute ‘universities’ and see how a simple solution could mean that Theresa May is taking a ma

PM: The right education for everyone? We will see who can sink or swim.

It seems that she was part of a Government that embarked on a flight that got too close to the sun and now has crashed into the sea while we all look on passively.   In her speech today at Derby College, Theresa May called for a comprehensive review and reforming of the tertiary education system in Great Britain. It was telling that she referred to Great Britain throughout and not to the UK.   She should be reminded that she leads the government of the United Kingdom that includes   Northern Ireland;   yet also acknowledge that tertiary education policy is devolved in that jurisdiction along with Scotland and Wales. She might as well have referred to England in relation to the review. Putting that aside, it seems that there is to be change on a relatively short time line. The panel is to be led by Philip Augar and five others labelled ‘experts. Experts in what is not evident at first but their experience in their chosen vocations is more evident. Notably absent will be staff an

The Betrayal of a Generation of Poorer Young People at University

Those that soldier on are less likely to get a 2.1 or degree or greater. It doesn’t stop there. They then are less likely to get a professional job. There is a major problem in access to, and success for, less well-off students aspiring to partake of Higher Education in Scotland. Hidden amongst the statistics and dry reports from Government are stark realities. For many individuals the dream of a better life through higher education is thwarted by a system that favours those with family support and better resources. If families cannot or are not willing to offer support then the less advantaged individual is destined to struggle to get to University. Once there they must endure greater challenges with the likelihood of doing less well than their better off peers.   The statistics prove this beyond doubt. The Scottish “Commissioner for Fair Access” has released in January a discussion paper that addresses “Retention, Outcomes and Destinations” of students in Universities in