The Government’s Higher Education White Paper: “Putting Students at the Heart of the System” is such utter garbage, so barely cognisant of what a university is, what the very concept of an education is, and how it might be a good thing if lots of different kinds of people could benefit from one, I barely know where to start with summarising it. I will, at a later date, but for a fuller idea of just how damaging this White Paper is, you can read the full text here, and the response of the Alternative White Paper here.
The Alternative White Paper concludes, correctly in my opinion, that:
“The commodification of higher education is the secret heart of the White Paper, which the government does not wish to debate openly. The government seeks a differently funded sector, one which can provide new outlets for capital that struggles to find suitable opportunities for investment elsewhere. Against the backdrop of collapsed productivity in traditional sectors, we are in a new phase of private sector stimulus at the expense of public provision. The role of government will act as a broker for private investment in services and it will be achieved on higher levels of individual indebtedness and higher leveraging at institutions. These are the very conditions which have given rise to the current financial crisis”.
We need to force this debate to happen in the open.