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Tag Archives: Browne Report


SRHE Higher Educational Policy Network

Higher Education Funding Policy: A historical and contemporary analysis

Tuesday 17th May, 4-6.30pm at London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road, London, N7 6RP (Room No BEL1-09 in the main Tower Building)

This seminar focuses on the very topical issue of higher education funding policy, offering an opportunity to bring a historical perspective to current policy developments and to consider the potential impacts both locally and globally. The speakers are:

Professor Claire Callender, Birkbeck College and Institute of Education, University of London.

A critical assessment of the Government’s reforms of student funding – all change or no change?

This paper will examine how student financial support has changed over time and critically analyse the Government’s planned reforms, locating them within a historical policy perspective.

Dr Vincent Carpentier, Institute of Education, University of London

Public-private substitution of funding and provision in higher education: national and global implications

This paper will explore the historical connections and tensions between funding, equity and quality policies in HE with a particular focus on the origins and implications of public-private funding in the global context.

Tea and coffee will be available at 4pm and the event will start at 4.15. At 6pm, there will be an opportunity to continue informal discussions of the issues raised in both papers over a glass of wine or juice.

For further details about the Higher Education Policy Network, please contact the network convenor: Professor Carole Leathwood, Institute for Policy Studies in Education, London Metropolitan University,


Network Events are free to SRHE members as part of their membership package.

Delegate fees for non members: £25 (students £20).                                                                                                                                  

To register for this event please contact

Details of further meetings can be found on our website

Many thanks

Nicola Manches, Administration Assistant, SRHE, 44 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4LL, 020 7447 2525

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The Really Open University is an ongoing process of transformation by those with a desire to challenge the higher education system and its role in society.

Instigated by students and staff of higher education institutions in the city of Leeds (UK), the ROU is non-hierarchical and open to anyone who wishes to see an end to the commodifcation of knowledge and the creation of a free and empowering education system where creative and critical thought is fostered.


Universities have traditionally been elite institutions benefiting a privileged minority. Their (anti)social role has been to reproduce the elite of society, enclosing knowledge in the minds of the few and cementing a small ruling class. There has been no ‘golden age’ of the university – it has never been an institution in the common interest.

More recently, higher education has undergone an accelerated process of privatisation and expansion. This has further contributed to the (anti)social role of the university, as the academy increasingly operates as a factory producing highly-trained yet docile workers. Universities are now run as businesses, with students as consumers and lecturers as creators of products. Knowledge has become a commodity that can be bought and sold, its ‘value’ determined by its ability to generate further private profit.

The 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review & Browne Report exacerbates the threat to knowledge with proposals to increase student fees to £9000 a year, while higher education faces funding cuts of 40%.  All this results in students taking on more debt for a hollowed-out ‘education’, lecturers being forced to carry out ‘economies exercises’ and staff working longer and harder hours for less money.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

A Really Open University is Possible

Imagine an education system where participants teach what inspires them, and learn what they are passionate about – a space where people share and develop their skills and knowledge not in the individual quest for jobs and profit but in a mutual attempt to create a more equitable and sustainable world…

The ROU sets out to change the expectations that people have of higher education, and by extension, the rest of our lives.

The multiple crises currently faced (higher education, neo-liberalism, climate change) open a crack for other narratives. Higher education could act as a laboratory of subversion, where collaboration creates collective solutions, and questions are asked about how people really want to live their lives.

In order to resist cuts and transform the university it is necessary to demystify the current system and move beyond the outdated and destructive model of neo-liberalism that currently governs it.

The ROU does not want to defend the university – we are not interested in maintaining an institution where our collective capacities are directed towards reproducing an elite or a highly-trained reserve army of labourers. We desire the transformation of the university, the creation of a common institution that works in the interests of all people in common.


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Higher Education


How could we transform the university, how could students and lecturers learn differently through more creative, critical and empowering processes, is it even possible to transform the university, or do we need to create an entirely different system?

We invite you to be a part of exploring and demonstrating an alternative educational system over three days. Be it a workshop, a lecture a discussion a film an event, we are calling… on students, lecturers and staff and others to come together and show another university is possible.

For a long time the university has been undergoing a process of privatisation.

Universities are now run as businesses, with students as consumers and lecturers as creators of products – knowledge has become a commodity that can be bought and sold. The sole purpose of university has become to train docile workers to perform functions within a capitalist system, to contribute to the enrichment of the few rather than the collective social improvement of all.

The recent Browne Report, written by former executive of BP, takes this process to a whole new level- proposing a removal on the cap on fees which will create an even more hierarchical education system, reducing research funding and rising fees to an estimated £10,000 a year. All this results in students taking on more debt for the same education, with lecturers being forced to carry out ‘economies exercises’ and staff working longer hours and harder for less money.

It is clear that the university system is becoming bankrupt and in need of profound change, but no-one can see an alternative, a solution, a way out.

As workers and students at different places within the university system, we can see a different way forward, we don’t have all the answers, but we have many ideas and are sure there are many more out there. We are putting on a three-day event across the university to facilitate the process of re-imagining the higher education system. We would like to explore how universities can become a place where creative and critical thought is fostered, where participants teach what inspires them, learn what they are passionate about, where people share and develop their skills and knowledge in order to create a more equitable and sustainable world, not simply for jobs and profit.

To be held at University of Leeds & Leeds Metropolitican University 24th -26th November

Precise locations and workshops to be announced on our website:


‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

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