Martin McQuillan

Placing Borrowing at the Heart of the System

by Martin McQuillan December 13, 2013

A few days after the Autumn Statement, Martin McQuillan considers the Osborne plan to expand student numbers based on questionable finances that the IFS have labelled ‘economic nonsense’ and have slowly started to unravel. This short-termist policy may have big implications in years to come as BIS will have to make up any further shortfall in the HE budget – a budget already under extreme pressure. With so many risks ahead, the HE sector needs to take a long and detailed look at this scheme.

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Social Mobility, the very idea

by Martin McQuillan October 19, 2012

‘Social mobility’ is now the central trope in the public discussion of university tuition fees and the guiding principle of HE policy. Given that social mobility is only a possible side effect of a university education not its primary purpose; we are entitled to ask how we arrived at this confusing situation in which the tail seems to be wagging the dog. In the week that Alan Milburn published his review of social mobility and higher education, we take one step back and look at the concept of ‘social mobility’ itself and its complicated relationship with universities.

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The Meaning of Stefan Collini

by Martin McQuillan April 3, 2012

It would be extremely therapeutic for all of those involved in the management of higher education in the UK today to read Stefan Collini’s What are Universities For? (Penguin 2012). This is not because Collini actually answers the question his title poses (and he is the first to acknowledge this) but because Collini articulates in eloquent, silken prose what every ‘ordinary’ academic in the country thinks but is either too lacking in self-confidence or too ill-informed of the issues to say for themselves.

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