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Will Britain Privatize Oxford and Cambridge?

The US excels in two things … our mega military and our universities.  Americas’s universities consistently fill all of the top slots in world ranking of “top fifty schools” … with the exception of Oxford, Cambridge along with the Imperial College London, UCL, and Kings College’

The Guardian: Oxford and Cambridge: will elite universities go private and raise fees?

This is not a new idea.  Two years ago, Sir Roy Anderson, rector of Imperial College, said that Britains’s top five should form a US-style Ivy league, and charge much higher fees. Anderson added: “Higher education is a product that Britain does superbly. Even if, in 20 years time, Imperial is a private institution able to compete with the Harvards and Yales, I very much hope we would have the scholarship endowment to continue to take people from all walks of life.”

     The lesson for England may be a picture of the US Universities as class and wealth continues to dominate the our secondary schools.  In Britain of the 19th and twentieth centuries class and wealth dominated education. It is still true that all of Britain’s prime ministers have come from their private school system … including the pipeline leading to the elite universities.  Even Donald Trump brags of his attendance at Wharton. The divide between the number of state and private school students attending Britain’s universities is at an all-time high, despite hundreds of millions of pounds being pumped into schemes to widen access.  Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said that universities’ efforts to improve access are “well meaning” but are not “evidence based”, while Sarah Stevens, head of policy at Russell Group, said the report shows there is “more work to be done” to widen access.

    Meanwhile, supposedly public, Oxford, has the lowest proportion of state educated students in the Britain.  That proportion is declining.  In 2015/16 intake, 55.7 per cent of Oxford entrants were from public schools and colleges, compared to 57.7 per cent  in 2011/12.  The news is better for Cambridge.  The proportion of state sector entrants there rose from 54 per cent to about 62 per cent in a decade. It now has fewer privately educated students than universities such as Bristol, Durham and St Andrews.


    2 Comments Add Yours ↓

    1. britme #
      1

      “It is still true that all of Britain’s prime ministers have come from their private school system … including the pipeline leading to the elite universities”

      No. Gordon Brown (PM after Tony Blair) did not attend a private school, nor Oxford, Cambridge, ICL, UCL or Kings.

    2. theaveeditor #
      2

      Interesting comment! Of course he also did no grow up in England! Where do scots go to secondary school?



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