Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education


8:45 am - December 9th 2010

by Sunder Katwala    


      Share on Tumblr

Will the government’s fees hike put off poorer potential students? Many people have worried about that. But what about those who rather hope the fees hike will put potential students off?

Such as the current Education Secretary Michael Gove, if we are to judge by his views for the Times before entering Parliament back in 2003 – arguing that £21,000 or more in fees is “a bargain”, that anybody who is deterred is simply too stupid to go to a top university, and that the only vision for Britain’s universities he believes in is to privatise them.

The Government is about to introduce a new test for those considering a university career. The central question will be punishingly direct. Do you want to run up a debt of £21,000 in order to go to the best British universities?

Some people will, apparently, be put off applying to our elite institutions by the prospect of taking on a debt of this size. Which, as far as I’m concerned, is all to the good.

The first point that needs to be made about the so-called deterrent effect of a £21,000 loan is that anyone put off from attending a good university by fear of that debt doesn’t deserve to be at any university in the first place. Incurring such a relatively small debt to pay for the huge economic benefit conferred by proper higher education is a fantastic deal.

Over a lifetime, the direct financial benefit in higher earnings is around £400,000. Those who attend our best universities can expect to earn even more. Borrowing £21,000, at preferential rates, to secure twenty times that sum, is an offer you’d have to be a fool to turn down. And if you’re such a fool that you don’t want to accept that deal, then you’re too big a fool to benefit from the university education I’m currently subsidising for you.

If Mr Gove’s government gets its way, the State and taxpayers will not be paying anything towards the tuition costs of most undergraduates’ tuition at all. Which gets us much closer to the Gove idea of a university, according to the op-ed.

First-rate universities with superb research facilities do bring benefits to the nation, economic and cultural. But the only way Britain can match America in boosting such institutions is by freeing them from the State, allowing them to charge reasonable fees and giving academics the autonomy professionals deserve; in a word, by privatisation.

That has the ring of serious and heartfelt sincerity.

But will the Education Secretary try to say he was just trying to entertain and shock his readers – and the piece does not in any way reflect what he has ever really thought, still less what he still secretly thinks now?

Or might his Times piece have just, in fact, revealed how at least some members of our government think about access to university?

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunder Katwala is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is the director of British Future, a think-tank addressing identity and integration, migration and opportunity. He was formerly secretary-general of the Fabian Society.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Education

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


1. Luis Enrique

anyone put off from attending a good university by fear of that debt doesn’t deserve to be at any university in the first place

the element of truth: as a rough measure, “intelligence” is what determines whether an individual “deserves” to be at university. It’s not unreasonable (which isn’t the same thing as definitely correct) to think that smarter people will be able to see that a conditional debt – to be repaid only if earnings exceed a threshold – is an attractive one-way bet that should not deter them from attending university. here is a short blog post about the links between intelligence, patience and risk aversion (it doesn’t really support Gove)

what he’s ignoring: if you compare two individuals of equal intelligence, of any IQ, one backed by the bank of mummy and daddy, and the other from a poor household, the richer one is going to worry much less about costs.

So this is tipping things in favour of the less “deserving”. We need some offsetting mechanism (like grants for the poorest households).

Student numbers have risen massively, there are so many courses that shouldn’t be being subsidised by the state, how does funding a a hundred drama students to one medical student or engineering student seem like good value for money to the Tax Payer?

Frankly I don’t know what the fuss is, we have more students studying at more universities, with better quality teaching and facilities than ever before, but no-one seems to be willing to pay for it when the money has run out. It’s blind self entitlement, frankly I think education in this country is so rotten that higher education should be getting cut, the money needs to go to primary school education first and foremost. I would much MUCH rather see primary and early secondary schools having the best in over funded facilities to get children on the right track early in life.

3. Luis Enrique

YMT

I agree, I think, that if we are worried about inequality of access to higher education, the big changes are needed at primary and secondary school, where so many kids from poor background have their chances of attending university scuppered regardless of how it is financed. See yesterday’s oxbridge thread.

2 – Problem is there is a belief in some quarters that the more people going to university the better, even if their courses are a joke. It’s motivated by either social engineering or the belief that nobody who wants to go to university should be denied.

I always enjoy “blasts from the past”.

Perhaps Sunder could now remind us about Labour’s “pledges” on tuition fees?

PS as you know I support the current proposals as they are nothing but a particular form of time-limited graduate tax.

It’s not unreasonable (which isn’t the same thing as definitely correct) to think that smarter people will be able to see that a conditional debt – to be repaid only if earnings exceed a threshold – is an attractive one-way bet

Perhaps, but intelligence is no guarantee that someone is good with numbers, as demonstrated by research into doctors use of health stats and research data, so the relationship is far from straightforward.

what he’s ignoring: if you compare two individuals of equal intelligence, of any IQ, one backed by the bank of mummy and daddy, and the other from a poor household, the richer one is going to worry much less about costs.

You hit the nail on the head here.

For the well-off, any concerns about the short-term costs/impact of debt will likely be offset by the perception that debts incurred today with result in significant assets (house, pension fund) in the long run.

For the poor, that perception is likely to be much weaker in not entirely absent because their formative experiences of the cost/impact of debt with be conditioned by their immediate environment.

If you grow up in a council house or other rented accommodation then payments for housing have an immediate impact on the household finances but don’t result, over the long term, in the acquisition of an asset, and their main experience of debt will be of short-term debts incurred to facilitate immediate needs and purchases of assets with a limited lifespan that depreciate rather than appreciate in value ove time.

I suspect that the ‘you’ll earn £x more thsn a non-graduate over your lifetime’ argument will fall flat with many student from poor background because they’ll instinctively run through a ‘back of a fag packet’ mental calculation in which their student debt and likely mortgage and pension costs will be deducted from £x, leaving with the impression – wrongly – that they’re being offered a bit of bum deal.

Ack… ignore this – it’s just a temporary fix for tag problem in my last comment

8. Sunder Katwala

cjcj

Personally, I am opposed to the government’s proposals because they seem to me a pretty radical break (in the scale of government withdrawal) to a previous broad centre-ground on this issue, while couched in a language of policy continuity.

Sso they now seem primarily about getting the public out of university education, not about resourcing high-quality universities. So the proposals for me have more in common with the ethos of this Gove 2003 piece than with where most people who have looked at the issues of funding universities without that ideological drive have ended up.

I set out what I thought were the differences yesterday
http://www.nextleft.org/2010/12/this-fees-hike-will-hit-social-mobility.html

My main concerns about what is proposed.

(i) There are no good arguments for the 75-95% cut in public spending on deficit reduction grounds – and look at the timescales, and that seems clear too. It is a discretionary policy choice, with a range of drivers and motivations.

It would be harder to object on those grounds if an argument was being made for 20% cuts, say, it would fit the broader deficit reduction approach, and legitimise a ‘rebalancing in difficult circumstances’ case from the moderate centre-right, which opponents would have to take seriously. That would have more in common with the previous debate about graduates contributing something (but not everything), recognising graduate education as having both private and public gains.

(ii) There is good evidence that the previous reforms did not restrict access to poorer groups. It does not follow that there are no levels of fee which would not do so – so we should not be entirely sanguine about doubling/tripling, and likely longer-term increases too. That argument should be evidence-based but it is a legitimate concern to scrutinise that.

(iii) I think the nature of choices made about (ii) changes with variability in fees. I am worried about this unless we have evidence that this will not lead to decisions being made on price in a way that seems likely to have segregating effects in socio-economic terms, which then have a long-term social impact in careers, etc given the nature of education as a positional good.

I think the LibDem political problem is they made an irresponsible pledge that they were never serious about, and I do think it is corrosive of political legitimacy to so brazenly say ‘campaigning and pledges never count if you don’t win a majority’, especially when couched as pledges to vote personally against. If we want more pluralist politics (and I do), this is extremely corrosive of it, and raises some major issues.

On your final point, I could actually accept that definition, but the details really matter. (The nature/label of a graduate contribution is a second order issue I think, and I think it is the issue of what the graduate contribution is part of that has changed).

This is what I wrote just ahead of the 2004 vote, where I supported the principles of reforms but also backbench efforts to do as much as possible on access, etc as part of them (which had some impact). My argument is that there is as much or more of a break as continuity in these proposals. Though some of the details (index-linking payback thresholds) are good, they do not mitigate for me the overall scale of government withdrawal, placing the burden of all tuition in most subjects purely in the graduate.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2004/jan/26/labour.comment
“The political language matters. Only in the sustained blitz of parliamentary party seminars and prime ministerial speeches over the last three weeks has the progressive case for change been made clearly. Most telling of all has been a subtle shift of language: increasing references to the proposed scheme as having “the qualities of a graduate tax” and more emphasis on the undoubtedly welcome abolition of up-front fees.

So why didn’t the government call this a graduate tax in the first place? They are proposing, in essence, an individually hypothecated graduate tax, with all student contributions coming after graduation and through the tax system once the earning threshold has been passed. In other countries, such as Australia, they would call that a graduate tax. The failure to take this route – no doubt connected to New Labour’s deep neurosis about the T-word – has left the government battling against a deeply misinformed public debate”.

***

If we had a more moderate reform, at least some moderate opponents of this policy might think it had more merit.

9. Chaise Guevara

I suspect we’re stuck in italics mode, yes?

@ 2 YMT

“Student numbers have risen massively, there are so many courses that shouldn’t be being subsidised by the state, how does funding a a hundred drama students to one medical student or engineering student seem like good value for money to the Tax Payer?”

This isn’t anout whether we should fund fewer students or cut funding for certain courses. It’s about the fact that this policy will skew things even further in the favour of those born to rich families.

Well personally I don’t understand why I have to pay for children’s prescriptions or schooling. These things have more ultimate value for the individual and their family than they do for society. After all doesn’t teaching children to read lead to their attainment of a better job? I think we should go ahead and privatise the entire school system from 4 years old upwards. If children choose not to go to school then they can still contribute to the economy by working as cleaners, bricklayers and market traders. In fact it could lead to the rebirth of our manufacturing industry. Many children are barely bright enough to read anyway.

The arguments about HE need to be broadened. I’m sure that most people recognise that a good education is a privilege. In the past the idea of free education, including HE, was to move it from a privilege to one of the great public goods. It was considered that graduates added more to the generally wellbeing than the costs of educating them to a higher level.

I think there are strong arguments that arbitrarily aiming for 50% of the population to proceed through HE was muddle-headed and the costs of doing this have outweighed the benefits. While it is good for us all that the most able receive an education to a higher level it is questionable that half the population going through HE will proportionally increase the benefit. As in other areas, this idiot idea from New Labour has opened the door for the tories to entrench privilege.

However, the current focus on HE risks missing the need for alternative routes for people to develop themselves, either vocationally or academically. I think we need to argue for a wider package of reforms to provide opportunity more effectively and appropriately rather than letting the tories set the agenda and reacting to it. Naturally these routes should all be provided from general taxation.

12. Chaise Guevara

I call Poe’s Law on 10. Nobody’s that stupid and callous in read life, I hope.

13. Torquil MacNeil

“It was considered that graduates added more to the generally wellbeing than the costs of educating them to a higher level.”

This is an argument that still gets wheeled put in this debate. It is actually just another version of ‘trickle down’, of course. But it is always funny watching an indignant student insisting that the state should pay him to train as a tax lawyer because of the great boon he will be to society when he gets into those clients!

There is justifiable uncertainty here over who the victim might be. We have Assange, hounded by the Americans, deluged with death threats, boycotted by international firms being leant on by – yes, the Americans. On the other hand we have two mature women who threw themselves on him, boasted of their connection with such a cool celebrity, and then got together to concoct their charges, with the help of a savvy right wing lawyer. So let’s take out the knee-jerk feminist reaction that *all* women are victims. No, we aren’t. These two women certainly weren’t, and attempts to protray them as such perpetuates the injustice. There are plenty of cases of women who *are* victims who never get justice, and linking them with these two Swedes just increases their difficulty in getting it. What does this twisted response remind me of most? The chorus of feminists who should have known better calling for attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of liberating the women there. And we know what that excursion into war-mongering led to.

Briar, you’re in the wrong thread…

17. Torquil MacNeil

… and on the wrong planet.

@13 Torquil

No it’s not trickle-down. And if this is your idea of a charm offensive, you missed out the charm.

19. Torquil MacNeil

But it is Cherub, the argument is just the same: pay to educate me because you will all benefit from a society that has people like me in it. It’s a kind of cultural ‘trickle down’ and just as dishonest as any other kind.

I am really not sure that the arguement that a degree is automatically a rational investment choice in a purely monetary sense really holds up anyway.

After these changes come through most students will accumulate 40-50K in debt over a three year course when you factor in living costs. The Tories have already stated that interest on that debt will eventually be moved close to market rates. And of course it will compound even whilst the students is studying. Plus you also have to take into the account the opportunity cost of the wages that the student forgoes whilst he/she is studying. Although that is not accumulating debt it is foregoing income.

The sums certainly add up for an aspiring doctor, lawyer or business exec.

But I am far from convinced that for a nurse, social worker especially if they are studying at a post-92 institution.

Is it worth repeating that this “debt” means nothing while earnings are below 21k, and amount to just £30/month at 25k.

It isn’t a “debt” at atll.

It is a graduate tax in all but name.

Is it worth repeating that this “debt” means nothing while earnings are below 21k, and amount to just £30/month at 25k.

It isn’t a “debt” at atll.

It is a graduate tax in all but name.

People always trot the figure for 21k or 25K.

But if you are earning 35K which is hardly a princely sum especially if you are supporting a family on one wage or if you are living in the SE then you will be paying back £150 per month. When you take into account that you are taxed on that cash you are actually paying back about £197 gross per month or about 6.75 of your salary which is a fair chunk.

It’s 9% of salary above 21k, so at 35k that would be 9% of 14k = 1260/yr = 105/month, not 150. 3.6% of gross salary. Is that high? At what rate would Labour’s graduate tax be levied?

oops – thread sorted.

I stand corrected Cjcj. It is £105 per month

But you are still taxed on that cash so you are effectively paying £137 gross per month or 4.7% of your salary.

@19 Torquil

You may be trolling by adopting an argument of the Left for your own purposes and diverting debate, but I’ll indulge you just this once.

Trickle down theory was the idea that it’s OK for rich people to get richer as they’ll spend more on services etc so the wider community will benefit from their wealth and largesse. It is self-evidently rubbish. Any doubts can be verified by facts.

Society as a whole benefits from graduates because they are the doctors who heal us, the scientists and engineers who make the cool gadgets we like and that bring in wealth, dare I say it the economists who advise us how to make a better economy. There are plentiful examples.

Now go away and troll no more.

Well take home -assuming no benefits, tax credits, etc etc, would be 2187.
So it will be 2082.

Hmmmm

What is the graduate tax rate Labour is proposing?

Just a quick point to those trotting out the old everyone benefits from more graduates line: this remains to be proven. Increasing the number of students is not likely to produce a linear relationship whereby the benefits increase at the same rate, if only because no other economic realtionship has ever worked like that. So there is clearly an optimum point at which you should cap students, although how we calculate that would be anyone’s guess. Obviously, if like me you believe it is purely individual choice to go to university, then it doesn’t matter anyway because that is just state interference…

But what you are also not considering is the opportunity cost of sending people to university. Yes, there is a trickle-down effect of upskilling people by giving them further education – it encourages wealth-creation, which does trickle down (Cherub rather puts certain socialist viewpoints on a bit of a Hobson’s Choice with that point). But it also means that there are increasing number of jobs occupied only by graduates which never used to be (and to be honest, never need to be), so effectively excluding the majority (those who do not go to university) from more and more posts and effectively limiting the economic options available to them – which costs society in exactly the same way as it benefits society to have graduates. I would quite happily accept the argument that the increased number of students at university has in fact already caused more harm than good, if someone wants to present figures that say that. As I say, personally I think it is an irrelevant conversation as the choice as to whether to go to university is the individual’s (and very few individuals do not have the ability if they want to achieve and can access the appropriate support and education – I do not believe there are many naturally stupid people around), not the state’s.

“it encourages wealth-creation, which does trickle down (Cherub rather puts certain socialist viewpoints on a bit of a Hobson’s Choice with that point”

Trickle down is bullshit. The 19th century was the ultimate trickle down hoopla . Very low tax and no welfare state. Result……

In 1920 After 150 years of trickle down extravagance 90% of the wealth was owned by 10 % of the people. Fast forward to 1970, and 90% of the welth was owned by 50% of the people. The middle class grew out of the welfare state.

Trickle down is just an excuse for the rich to be selfish.

28. Watchman

“Just a quick point to those trotting out the old everyone benefits from more graduates line: this remains to be proven. ”

There is no need to prove anything. Education increases someones utility. How do we know this? Because they would not learn if knowledge did not increase their utility. Human beings after all are rational. A gain of personal utility translates into a societal gain in utility. Someone knowing something today that they did not know yesterday is a gain in their utility regardless whether their new knowledge has a personal or societal application. Therefore, there is no such thing as useless information. Now a gain in utility for students has to be offset with a loss of utility for the people who are paying for it. Since, at the margin it is wealthier people who are paying for it there is a net gain of societal utility. Why? Because wealth has a diminishing marginal utility. Therefore, as many students who want to should go to university should go. Although, I still think they should pay more for the personal benefit.

Richard W,

Your case depends on a circular argument: humans will only learn when it is rational to do so; it is rationally to do things which increase utility; utility is increased by education. Therefore humans learn because it is rational to increase utility which is increased by learning, so humans learn because…

Of course, this only works if all humans at all times make the decision to learn rather than do anything else such as drinking or getting a tatoo. Otherwise humans are make irrational decisions not to increase their utility, which undermines the whole circle.

Oddly, I think I agree with the gist of your argument though – that there is clearly utility in learning. My point is simply that the social utility cannot be assumed to increase constantly, especially when there is a social cost which has to be taken into account as well. And my underlying ideology is that I don’t care anyway, because it is an individual not a social choice about whether to go into further education.

sally,

In 1920 After 150 years of trickle down extravagance 90% of the wealth was owned by 10 % of the people. Fast forward to 1970, and 90% of the welth was owned by 50% of the people. The middle class grew out of the welfare state.

Of course trickle down works – in 1086 almost 100% of the wealth was owned by less than 1% of the people (go and read Domesday Book), so there was a much more marked improvement before the welfare state than there was afterwards…

(A famous Vic Reeves saying about statistics could apply here…).

Of course, you could actually engage with the fact that trickle down as used politically was from after 1970 and was an idea that assumed there would be safety nets, laws against exploitation etc – and that actually envisaged the trickle down would be from the middle classes as much as anyone. The idea was not, as far as I know, a return to the non-maket-based economy of the nineteenth century (it was an economy designed to make the ruling classes wealthy) but an attempt to replace the equally impractical and useless state redistribution of money as practiced in the 1970s.

@ Watchman

I think going back to the first millennium as a basis for arguing that trickledown works is a bit, well, risky. Hardly the sort of economy we have today? I hope you were being a bit tongue-in-cheek.

I would happily agree that increasing the number of students does not necessarily increase the benefit. I said as much @11 above.

Cherub,

Indeed – although to be fair, in sally’s example the economy in 1920 was very different from that in 1970. My case was a reductio ad absurdium (which would have been ripped apart by anyone who spotted wealth in Domesday Book was measured in land and livestock etc, whilst wealth in 1920 was presumably measured in money (or children’s souls if sally is correct…).

@ 31. Watchman

Human beings at all times are maximising their utility. Getting out of bed in the morning only happens if the net benefit is greater than the alternative of staying in bed. Something does not need to be rational to others and quite often we might think someone is acting irrationally. However, it is always rational to that person in terms of cost benefit otherwise they would not do it. Obviously utility arguments can be taken to extremes. Probably if we euthanised everyone over 80 years old there would be a net gain in utility. Although on other levels it would be immoral. Free market utilitarians have no problem with redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor based purely on the gains from societal utility. Redistributing education to the young can be justified on similar grounds.

Although I wish the government would incentivise more practical application courses. I fully accept that all education no matter how obscure has value. A history degree has no obvious practical application. Yet, investment banks are full of people with history degrees because they value the type of critical thinking that good history graduates learn.

“Of course trickle down works – in 1086 almost 100% of the wealth was owned by less than 1%”

HA HA HA HA HA

So in Watchmans world you only have to wait a thousand years for trickledown to have any effect. Fucking pricesless.

And anyway, it was not trickledown but the black death that helped the lower orders to move up. It killed off many people competitors.

Of course, you could actually engage with the fact that trickle down as used politically was from after 1970 and was an idea that assumed there would be safety nets, laws against exploitation etc.

That’s one way of looking at it – another is to say that the whole “trickle-down” idea was a PR ruse to stop us plebs complaining while the wealthy set about returning things to the way they were in the 19th century. The fact that the implementers of supply-side economics in the 1980s simultaneously gutted safety regulations and laws against exploitation would give some credence to that view.

@ 29 “In 1920 After 150 years of trickle down extravagance 90% of the wealth was owned by 10 % of the people. Fast forward to 1970, and 90% of the welth was owned by 50% of the people. The middle class grew out of the welfare state”.

No, the middle class (in the true sense of the word) grew out of servicing mercantile wealth. The middle class wish to benefit from the rewards of capitalism, but without any of the risk. So they become it’s agents and gatekeepers. They become the lawyers, accountants, insurers, bankers, engineers and regulators. Which is why middle class socialists are so pathetic, they profess to destroy the very system that created them.

@37 Even Ronald Regan spotted the obvious flaw in trickle down, he called it “voodoo economics”. The flaw is that wealth mostly “trickles” sideways from one already rich shareholder group to another.

It was not Reagan but Bush the elder who coined the term ‘ voodoo economics’ in reference to Reaganomics.

There is nothing new about trickle-down economics. In the 19th century they described it in rather more graphic terms as the horse and sparrow theory. The more oats you stuffed in the horse the more they would shit back out and even the little sparrows would get a feed.

41. Chiase Guevara

@ 38 Matt Munro

“Which is why middle class socialists are so pathetic, they profess to destroy the very system that created them.”

First, it’s pretty paranoid to suggest that socialists want to “destroy” anything. Looking for people who want to destroy capitalism? Then go talk to militant communists or (rather hilariously) anarchists. Socialists just want to see a bit of redistribution going on.

Secondly, it’s not actually hypocritical to be against a system that advantaged you personally, or to vote against your interests. This is something that people who bandy around phrases like “champagne socialists” seem unable to understand.

” Which is why middle class socialists are so pathetic, they profess to destroy the very system that created them.”

Oh the stupid, it burns.

The first point that needs to be made about the so-called deterrent effect of a £21,000 loan is that anyone put off from attending a good university by fear of that debt doesn’t deserve to be at any university in the first place. Incurring such a relatively small debt to pay for the huge economic benefit conferred by proper higher education is a fantastic deal.

In other words: if you do not think the benefit to you of going to university is worth the cost, you should not go to it.

What exactly is wrong with that argument?

“In other words: if you do not think the benefit to you of going to university is worth the cost, you should not go to it.

What exactly is wrong with that argument?”

So you can tell me the racing results and lottey numbers ahead of time can you?

@ 41 “Secondly, it’s not actually hypocritical to be against a system that advantaged you personally, or to vote against your interests. This is something that people who bandy around phrases like “champagne socialists” seem unable to understand.”

Yep if you happen to beleive that it’s ok, just as a random example, to impose comprehensive education on the masses and then send your own kids to private schools, or enjoy free University eductaion and then impose fees on the next generation, then I guess you wouldn’t think it’s hypocritcal. And if it’s ok to vote against your own interests then why do the left have such a problem understanding working class Tories ?

46. Chiase Guevara

@ 45

“Yep if you happen to beleive that it’s ok, just as a random example, to impose comprehensive education on the masses and then send your own kids to private schools, or enjoy free University eductaion and then impose fees on the next generation, then I guess you wouldn’t think it’s hypocritcal.”

Um, “impose” comprehensive education on the masses? And the right would do what, exactly? Seriously, I really want to hear this right-wing idea about education that’s fairer than the left-wing approach. If the current system is left-wing, then the next stop on the right, as it were, would be eliminating comprehensive education.

As for the university issue, that’s a generational thing, not a left/right thing. And as far as I can see it’s the left claiming that it’s unfair, not the right. You may have confused “left” with “evil” here.

“And if it’s ok to vote against your own interests then why do the left have such a problem understanding working class Tories ?”

I suspect the assumption is that rich socialists are following their principles while poor Tories are being duped. And yes, that’s conceited.

I agree with Sunder – and especially – with the points raised on his resonse on 8.

I have argued elsewhere on this topic for a student contribution and criticised the Labour government for not making its increased funding conditional on university reform. Universities need to be much more porous and flexible – for educational and equity reasons, but the new proposals that speak about flexibility conceptualise this primarily in terms of markets. The proposals for ‘diversity’ are simply code for a rigid and permanent stratification of HE: out of date, ill-founded (look at Warwick’s development), and further ossifying a system of overly-policed boundaries between subjects and bewteen the vocational/academic.

That there has been a clear agenda for the privatisation of higher education has been evident for quite a while. See this July article on the BBC website.

The retreat from state funding of higher education (totally for teaching of the humanities and most social sciences) is a seismic shift not just in terms of funding, but in terms of what we see as the purposes and values of higher education. I am very disappointed with the responses of most Vice-Chancellors; they seem to be only capable of speaking as CEOs (which they are) and not as champions of education, knowledge and culture.

“Um, ‘impose’ comprehensive education on the masses?”

C’mon. Mrs Thatcher as education minister in Ted Heath’s Conservative government of 1970-74 approved more conversions of selective schools to comprehensives than any other education minister.

Leicester County Council – at the time a high Tory council – approved a policy to go comprehensive in 1957. Its first comprehensive community college – Oadby Beauchamp – opened in 1958. Usually Labour controlled Leicester City Council preserved its selective schools through to local government reorganisation in 1974.

It’s just untrue to claim that comprehensive education was foisted on the masses. The truth is – rightly or wrongly – that the 11+ exam became deeply unpopular, partly because of wide differences in the selection rates as between different parts of the country – which, in turn, depended on the number of grammar school places available in localities.

Because of various quirks of history, selective schools have survived in the London borough where I live which has had a LibDem controlled council for the last 20 or so years and the council regularly comes at or near the top of the league table for local education authorities for England based on the average attainment of candidates in the GCSE exams.

On that evidence, it’s challenging to argue that selective schools produce poor education standards for the majority. And btw compared with other local education authorities in London, the council is a relatively modest spender on education. Despite that, two selective maintained schools within walking distance achieve better average A-level results than Eton.

We really need to demythologise a lot of the argument about schooling and education and introduce more evidence-based policy.

“In 1920 After 150 years of trickle down extravagance 90% of the wealth was owned by 10 % of the people. Fast forward to 1970, and 90% of the welth was owned by 50% of the people. The middle class grew out of the welfare state.”

Brilliant – choose two points 50 years apart, take one thing and say “that was responsible for the change”. It’s nothing to do with generally improving education standards, along with laws extending compulsory education to later ages, leading to the ‘middle class’ learning how to improve their lot, nor any of the other changes that took place between 1920 and 1970 – nope it’s all thanks to the welfare state.

And also you do realise that 90% of wealth being owned by 50% can imply that all you did was get rid of the richest x% of people. If I’m out with two friends and we have £10, £20 (me) and £70 then he has 70% of the money. If we sacked him off and went out with another friend with £10, the richest only has 50% of the money, but we’re no better off as a group. The gap tells you nothing of how it’s made up.

50. Chaise Guevara

@ 48 Bob B

I’m not saying that comprehensive schools were imposed on the masses, I’m challenging that statement – hence the scare quotes around “impose” in my post. And from what I can tell, Matt Munro is talking about comprehensive education as the alternative to private education, not as a specific type of school system.

It’s hard to be certain, but he seems either to think that the left are preventing the right from handing free private education to all, or that comprehensive education is evil and children would be much better off up chimneys. Or he hasn’t expressed himself very well. In any case, he’s just grumpy about how heavy that chip on his shoulder is.

@50 Chaise Guevara

What’s so curious is that Gove, in fact, is in reaction against the consequences of Conservative government and local authority policies.

Conservatives promoted the switches from selective to comprehensive schools. A Conservative government introduce the National Corriculum for schools in 1988 and a Conservative government introduced the all-ability GCSE exams to replace the old academic GCE O-levels intended for the top 20 pc or so of the ability range.

Gove’s pre-election floated notion of a national history curriculum for schools is in conflict with his claimed aim of liberating schools from curriculum controls while his selection of items for his history curriculum was patently tendentious, not something we might expect from someone supposedly intent on raising academic standards in schools and promoting academic values.

The problem with the country is that we feel that getting to university is the most important feature of our lives and more importantly our children lives. It has become an intellectual badge of honour.
Personally I feel the government are right on this issue of fees but there should be
tax free subsidies to families on the free school meals barrier
As for people out of academia are they any better than the herd intellectually, no there just better at exam s or course work. They also seem to breed individuals like Nick Cohen and privately educated Oxbridge young deb who want to bring back slavery.
Graduates don’t make better or worst employes, some are good and some not so good.
What is important is training both in the workplace and school.
It does make me chuckle listening to cretins like Andrew Roberts who passed from school to university to academia lecturing the rest of us on the real world.
I know it may come as a great surprise to many of you but there are quite a few people who did not go to university who are quite bright

“As for people out of academia are they any better than the herd intellectually, no there just better at exam s or course work.”

Data from most OECD countries typically show lower unemployment rates for graduates and higher employment rates for working age graduates.

For employers, I suspect part of the attraction is that a degree tends to signal better literacy and numeracy standards, as compared with non-graduates, at a time of rising concerns about slipping standards of schooling.

“For employers, I suspect part of the attraction is that a degree tends to signal better literacy and numeracy standards, as compared with non-graduates, at a time of rising concerns about slipping standards of schooling”

In the end what gets you the job is character.
Do you get that by a working apprenticeship which combines the pressure of economic and academic factors or the relatively easy life as an university graduate

As for low standards, well that is always going to be a problem, with whatever system we employ but many highly intelligent individuals have been dyslexic and with computers playing such a central role in life, do you have to be Lynne Truss to succeed.
Employers look for a number of character traits.
I am not against graduates but the belief you are a failure if you don’t go to university

Is it me or does Gove look like a characature of a public schoolboy on work experience at the house of commons? The most hardship he’s ever had is choosing beteen a hard or soft boiled egg for breakfast, not that he would cook it himself, of course.

The trouble with Gove he is the only man I know who can combine a look of smugness, astonishment and unscary glare.
He reminds me of the guy who played the school snitch in the Billy bunter TV series, that dates me.

“In the end what gets you the job is character. Do you get that by a working apprenticeship which combines the pressure of economic and academic factors or the relatively easy life as an university graduate.”

I hate to mention this but in the end character and good intentions are not sufficient for those increasingly many jobs for which minimal standards of professional competence are essential for the protection of customers, employers and social welfare at large. Until belated reforms in the late 1970s, many “apprencticeships” in Britain were gained simply by time serving.

What makes the Oxbridge tutorial system so distinctive – and pressured – is the frequency of required essays which have to be delivered to peer groups. Students are pressed into wide reading to do that, to pass intermediate exams and then get through finals.

Manufacturing in Britain now only accounts for about 13pc of the national economy, much the same as in most other advanced economies – Germany and Japan are exceptions. With the continuing shift to services in economies, better standards of literacy and numeracy are necessary – which is why employers are observably tending to select graduates for jobs, in fact, in many advanced economies.

Another fact is that graduates over a lifetime of employment do tend to earn more on average than non-graduates.

What makes the Oxbridge tutorial system so distinctive – and pressured – is the frequency of required essays which have to be delivered to peer groups. Students are pressed into wide reading to do that, to pass intermediate exams and then get through finals.

Bob most jobs train people in the same way, to see Oxbridge as any different from the rest is a myth. Presentations are te norm for those who pursue a job in any industry now.
Oxbridge is made of a certain class of individuals who think getting an essay in on time is pressure. Its is not , selling a certain amount of products by a certain time is pressure, knowing you will be sacked not getting your quota not an ear bashing from a soft Don.
The real world is lot tougher than punts and scouts.
Bosses look for that toughness.

“Oxbridge is made of a certain class of individuals who think getting an essay in on time is pressure. ”

You don’t know what you are talking about – how many Oxbridge graduates have you ever met or worked with? It’s not simply a matter of getting an essay in on time. It’s a matter of presenting that essay to a peer group for criticism and it’s a matter of having a fortnight to do that essay and then being given another essay topic on a totally different subject in a week’s time with a fortnight to do that and so on through a term.

All sorts compete to get places at Oxbridge, including from two maintained schools within walking distance of where I sit which get better average A-level marks than at Eton. Try looking at the school in the league table for A-level results:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8439634.stm

The fact is that graduates generally have lower unemployment rates and higher employment rates than non-graduates in most advanced economies.

“You don’t know what you are talking about – how many Oxbridge graduates have you ever met or worked with? It’s not simply a matter of getting an essay in on time. It’s a matter of presenting that essay to a peer group for criticism and it’s a matter of having a fortnight to do that essay and then being given another essay topic on a totally different subject in a week’s time with a fortnight to do that and so on through a term”

I’ve worked with quite a few, and whilst indoubtedly bright I do often think their actually a hindrance in the “real” world. Every communication is treated as an opposrtunity toi show off their intellect, every invitation to comment on even the most trivial paper is a petit exercise in pedanic homework marking. Face it, the education you get at Oxford is good, if you plan to live in the 19th Century.

“It’s not simply a matter of getting an essay in on time. It’s a matter of presenting that essay to a peer group for criticism and it’s a matter of having a fortnight to do that essay and then being given another essay topic on a totally different subject in a week’s time with a fortnight to do that and so on through a term”

Not my definition if pressure, pretty much a standard working month for any middle manager.

@ 57 “With the continuing shift to services in economies, better standards of literacy and numeracy are necessary – which is why employers are observably tending to select graduates for jobs, in fact, in many advanced economies”.

Absurd. Sevice jobs require less skill than manufacturing jobs. Why do you need to be a graduate to work in a call centre, on a hotel reception, or in an insurance brokers ? Most service sector jobs are not well paid or highly skilled

@61: “Most service sector jobs are not well paid or highly skilled”

Granted that is true of many jobs in sales but the biggest generation of new service sector jobs has been in business and financial services.

“The full-time occupations with the highest earnings in 2009 were ‘Health professionals’, (median pay of full-time employees of £1,031 a week), followed by ‘Corporate managers’ (£745) and ‘Science and technology professionals’ (£698). The lowest paid of all full-time employees were those in ‘Sales occupations’, at £278 a week.”
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=285

@46 “I suspect the assumption is that rich socialists are following their principles while poor Tories are being duped. And yes, that’s conceited.”

In what sense are they being duped ? Believe it or nor some working class people do (gasp) make it to the middle class, and because they feel no guilt about it, and do not feel that the state, or anyone else got them there, they feel no obligation to share that sucess with anyone else, or feel guilty about it – although they may still be quietly altruistc, rather than otentatiously indulging in the politics of the hollow gesture.
And what “principles” exactly are rich socialists following ? The only principle I can see is a hypocritical guilt trip and the misguided belief that publicly and symbolically standing up for the disadvantaged will atone for the sin of priveldge.

@ 48 “We really need to demythologise a lot of the argument about schooling and education and introduce more evidence-based policy”.

Agreed. Here’s some evidence. Under selective, traditional education we had;

The theory of relativity, the internal combustion engine, powered flight, the invention of electricity, space exploration, computers, the internet, atomic power, I could go on

Under comprehensive education we have had er ??

People do not have equal ability, therefore mixed ability teaching benefits no one.
And my attack on comprehensives upthread was aimed at people like Harperson who ranted on about how private eductaion was “elitist” and then uses her wealth to exercise a choice for her children which most parents are denied.
And I’m not suggesting a retun to “sending kids up chimneys” I’m advocating a return to academic selection, and an end to the myth that all kids are capable of becoming rocket scientists, they are not.

@ 26 “Society as a whole benefits from graduates because they are the doctors who heal us, the scientists and engineers who make the cool gadgets we like and that bring in wealth, dare I say it the economists who advise us how to make a better economy. There are plentiful examples”

No one is disputing that graduates are generally better for the economy than non-graduates but it doesn’t follow that more graduates therefore always equals more GDP. You will eventually hit the point of diminishing marginal returns and find that you are pouring more and more money in and getting less and less GDP in return, something which is probably amplified if “graduate” jobs are not really graduate jobs and/or you are not producing the type of graduates the economy needs.
If you look at somewhere like France – which had a near 50% graduate workforce long before it was even a target here – many of them are unemployed or flipping burgers and the economy is moribund, it becomes obvious that there is a “natural” level of graduate demand beyond which a higher educated workforce adds no value.

On the topic

Farroon – LibDem president – makes an important point in the Guardian (can’t find online; quote is from print edition) . I don’t agree with everything he says, but this is very relevant:

“I am absolutely furious with the vice-chancellors as a cadre and I’ll be careful not to call them all spineless – but I will call them all spineless.
No other public sector boyd, in this whole shake-up with the cuts, was in a position where they could say: ‘Right we’ll accept our cut in the direct support we get from the stateas long as we get to charge our clients.’ Imagine if we had headteachers or NHS managers saying that – it’s absolutely outrageous.”

Sorry meant to write on the topic of privatisation for above post.

As it stands, it gives the impression of saying other posts were off-topic. That is not what I meant.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  2. Sunder Katwala

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  3. jennifer roberts

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  4. Andy Bold

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  5. SSP Campsie

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  6. UK Education Matters

    This has made a lot of people very cross this morning RT @libcon: when Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  7. Tom Fowler

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  8. Hot In Education

    Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education | Liberal Conspiracy
    http://safe.mn/1~bk

  9. Max

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  10. Lisa James

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  11. Dirk vom Lehn

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  12. paulstpancras

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  13. Rosie

    RT @paulstpancras: RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  14. Chris Patmore

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  15. Jan Bennett

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  16. Stuart Harrison

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  17. TeresaMary

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  18. sunny hundal

    Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  19. yorkierosie

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  20. safefromwolves

    Revealed: Gove wanted to privatise education/restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ v @sunny_hundal #solidarity #demo2010

  21. Dan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  22. Peter Allen

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  23. Claire French

    Cringe! RT @sunny_hundal when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  24. N Roberts

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  25. Christian DeFeo

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  26. Boycott Procuts35

    Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Iyw00Zk via @libcon

  27. PCS GONW Branch

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  28. Jenni Payne

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  29. lydia harris

    Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/huMK9x

  30. Iain Whiteley

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  31. Bob Piper

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  32. Perri Lewis

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  33. House Of Twits

    RT @sunny_hundal Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  34. Juan Pablo Puentes

    RT @tamsinchan: Revealed: Gove wanted to privatise education/restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ v @sunny_hundal #sol …

  35. WestMonster

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  36. Rhys Morgan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  37. Jane Kirkpatrick

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  38. Katharine S Russell

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  39. Alex Belardinelli

    RT @nextleft: RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  40. Matt Jeffs

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  41. Amy MacLaren

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  42. Cory Hazlehurst

    Michael Gove in 2003: Those who are put off university by debt are too stupid to be a graduate anyway: http://bit.ly/gRV3j0

  43. Finola Kerrigan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  44. Martin Hughes

    RT @goldenstrawb: Michael Gove in 2003: Those put off university by debt are too stupid to be a graduate anyway: http://bit.ly/gRV3j0

  45. Jaime Campbell

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  46. Robyn Evans

    @libcon reminds us what Gove's thoughts on education were in opposition http://bit.ly/gRV3j0

  47. Miserable little pipsqueak | Councillor Bob Piper

    […] thinks students should be delighted at the prospect of finishing their education with a debt of only £21,000 (actually, £27,000 if like Gove you went to Oxford)… and if they don’t agree with him […]

  48. Daniel Phillips

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  49. Gavin Barber

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  50. Christopher Roussel

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  51. Sian Blake

    Why I despise Michael Gove: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ (via @PerriLewis and @sunny_hundal) He is actually made of evil and entitlement. #toryscum

  52. Gary Walker

    RT @goldenstrawb Michael Gove in 2003: Those who are put off uni by debt are too stupid to be a graduate anyway: http://bit.ly/gRV3j0 <-READ

  53. Ellie Mae

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  54. Daniel Drage

    Good work….RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  55. David Cunliffe

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  56. Abhijeet Ahluwalia

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  57. Martin Crozier

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  58. NewLeftProject

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  59. Other TaxPayers Alli

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  60. Other TaxPayers Alli

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  61. Other TaxPayers Alli

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  62. Rachel

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  63. Rachel

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  64. Rachel

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  65. bee hive

    R @OtherTPA R @sunny_hundal: Revealed: Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  66. bee hive

    R @OtherTPA R @sunny_hundal: Revealed: Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  67. bee hive

    R @OtherTPA R @sunny_hundal: Revealed: Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  68. bee hive

    @britishleader Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  69. bee hive

    @britishleader Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  70. alikichapple

    RT @sunny_hundal: Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ (via @NewLeftProject)

  71. bee hive

    @LabourList http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  72. bee hive

    @ukuncut have you seen this http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  73. Clare Cochrane

    Read this then Shock Doctrine by @NaomiKlein RT @OtherTPA @sunny_hundal: Revealed Michael Gove on privatising education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  74. Mikey Smith

    RT @sunny_hundal: Revealed: when Michael Gove wanted to privatise education & restrict poorer students from uni http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  75. thabet

    Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://t.co/VCOmBfE via @libcon

  76. Ali

    http://tinyurl.com/3yul2d5 well, good thing someone so stunningly out of touch isn't in charge of our country's education system!

  77. David Cameron

    Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ /via @sunny_hundal

  78. Jack Scott

    RT @davecameroon: Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  79. Jon Wilson

    Conservative education policy is driven by some very very wierd people http://bit.ly/gRV3j0

  80. Matt Jeffs

    RT @davecameroon: Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  81. Sunder Katwala

    RT @davecameroon: Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  82. Tom Griffin

    RT @davecameroon: Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  83. Ipswich Labour

    RT @davecameroon: Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  84. Matt Gwilliam

    RT @davecameroon: Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  85. irene rukerebuka

    RT @davecameroon: Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  86. ran

    RT @davecameroon: Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  87. Hazico_Jo

    RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  88. irene rukerebuka

    No great shock is it? >> RT @libcon: Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  89. vicki markham

    RT @davecameroon: Our plans to marketise Higher Educatiion are not ill-thought out! We've been plotting for years: http://bit.ly/dZTtJJ

  90. Rachel Hubbard

    Blast from the past: when Michael Gove wanted to restrict and privatise education | Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/gkwevL via @addthis





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.