On BBC Radio Four’s Moral Maze this week, we discussed education. While the Institute for Fiscal Studies is claiming that as many as 13 universities may no longer be financially viable, the government has abandoned the policy of getting half of school-leavers into university and says it wants to concentrate instead on vocational qualifications.
With grade inflation rampant not just in the universities but down through the school system, we asked whether university places should be available to all who wanted a university degree or whether the 50 per cent policy had lowered standards throughout the entire education system. What should the purpose of education actually be?
I was joined by fellow-panellists Mona Siddiqui, Anne McElvoy and Matthew Taylor. Our witnesses were Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute; Tim Worstall, senior fellow of the Adam Smith Institute; Niamh Sweene, teacher at Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge; and Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham.
If you have BBC iPlayer, you can listen to the show here.