Just a few things…
This week Paul Marshall, head of the 1994 Group of universities, said that he expects a shift towards private universities as students face a shortage of spaces.
But there are other ways of remedying the problem of shortages. For instance, if Lord Browne reports that student fees should be hiked up to £7000 per year, it seems that there will be a sharp drop in applications to university, so less places will be required.
Elsewhere, it looks like Harrods has re-invented the apprenticeship but cunningly disguised it as a degree. The famous department store, in association with Anglia Ruskin University, will offer its employees the opportunity to do a two year BA (Hons) in ‘the art of sales’. The new Sales degree will include modules in human behaviour, psychology and business enterprise, but, alas there is no mention of a module on Marx’s concept of commodity fetishism. The BBC reports that:
Staff who are employed in sales roles at the department store and have at least two years of relevant work experience are being encouraged to apply for the degree, which they can study for alongside their work.
I understand also that staff who take the degree will pay no tuition fees, so solving the problem of young people turning their back on higher education… if higher education is what a degree from Harrods actually is.