Archives for posts with tag: uk higher education

On 4 July this year, the government’s student visa restrictions came into place. The new rules limit the number of dependents students can bring with them, curb their work entitlements during study, reduce their ability to stay on after they graduate, and require them to demonstrate a proficiency in English on arrival. They also impose stringent new conditions upon organisations seeking to gain ‘highly trusted’ sponsor status.

Despite the fact that the international student market is estimated to be worth £40 billion to the UK economy, these measures are aiming to reduce the numbers of foreign students coming into the country each year by up to 80,000 (or 25%).

The madness of this policy in a time of austerity has been highlighted by Nick Jordan among others … but the impact the changes will have on university recruitment is not yet known … read the rest of this post at

When University College London was founded in the 1820s, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge ridiculed it as a ‘lecture-bazaar’: an institution that imparted information but not wisdom.

In doing so Coleridge called the opening shots in what would become a fierce debate about the nature and purpose of universities in the nineteenth century. Should they be institutions that offered a commodity: imparting useful knowledge that could be turned by those who acquired it to commercial and economic advantage? Or, were they learning communities: places where people come together to learn lessons that were as much about how to live as they were about how to perform a task?  Read the rest of this post at …

This post expands on my comments in the piece by Matthew Reisz on refugee scholars in this week’s Times Higher Education.

From the 1880s until the Second World War, personal connections extending to the universities of the British settler world (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) were crucial to many aspects of academic practice in Britain. Such connections had been particularly important to appointments procedures, bringing settler scholars into British universities as the same time as they took British-born academics out to the Dominions.

But the urgent need to find academic homes for the influx of European refugee scholars in the 1930s both re-orientated and circumvented this cosy system. Pre-existing connections opened a path for the admission of some émigré professors, then once in Britain their recommendations helped to bring out others. The Academic Assistance Council established by Beveridge and Rutherford set up a register that formalised this process. Virtually overnight, it brought into being a tangible, paper archive that recorded the kind of information that for settler academics had never needed to be written down.

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