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Education & Arts Publications
It is time for a new approach to social mobility. For the past 20 years it has focused too much on the “long” mobility of sending people from disadvantaged backgrounds to elite universities and into the higher professions. That is a desirable goal but for social mobility to be fit for the levelling up era it needs to be relevant to a much more broader group of people, and needs to focus on the supply of decent jobs for a range of talents and aptitudes and not just reorder the queue for entry into the professional elite.
Britain’s universities are world-leading. Yet there is growing concern that academic freedom in these institutions is being undermined in a way that departs from the liberal traditions and democratic norms of British society. This paper uses one of the largest representative samples of UK- based academics carried out in recent years to explore the concern that strongly-held political attitudes are restricting the freedom of those who disagree to research and teach on contested subjects. The report sets out what might be done, in the form of legislation—specifically an Academic Freedom Bill—and other measures to ensure that a) universities support intellectual dissent, which drives progress and innovation and b) all lawful speech is protected on campus.
Vocational education and training, especially for those not heading to university, has been one of the biggest public policy failures of the last 25 years. The Covid-19 economic crisis, and how we emerge from it, is an opportunity to do something about it.
The essays in this collection focus on several different aspects of the problem: the lack of decent apprenticeships for school-leavers, the loss of higher manual and technical skills and the decline
The coronavirus crisis underlines the need for an education and training system that is better aligned with the economic and social needs of the UK, says David Goodhart in this research paper. We can no longer afford the luxury of a wasteful mismatch produced by low value degrees and a disorganised approach to vocational training. The current crisis also offers an opportunity to cut through many of the normal blockages and vested interests, not least since we may – in the wake of the coronavirus crisis – be moving into a period of high unemployment, which will require a radical rethinking of current policy. This paper sets out three reforms that would help to improve the UK’s training and education.
In 2014 Policy Exchange published the seminal report Watching the Watchmen: The future of school inspections in England. While Ofsted today is a much stronger, higher performing and robust organisation than it was in 2014, there is no public body so perfect that it cannot benefit from external scrutiny.
Universities in the UK are not yet in crisis – but they could be if they continue down their current path. In this report, based on over 50 interviews with vice-chancellors, chairs of council and other senior leaders, we set out the steps that university leaders must take if they are to put their institutions on a robust footing and regain the trust of the nation.
A UK Advanced Research Projects Agency could have a transformative impact on technological innovation in the UK – but the Government must embrace failure if it is to be a success. Learning lessons from the US, ministers must tear up the rule book of research funding bureaucracy and recognise that the majority of projects will not achieve their objectives, but that those that do will be will be transformational. The key to success will be allowing empowered and highly expert project managers to drive forward projects and allocate funding to the best people and projects wherever they can be found.
Universities should be places of open debate, where ideas can be debated freely. Recent events, however, have revealed a chilling effect, with high profile campaigns to sack academics and fewer than four out of ten Leave-supporting students feeling able to share their views in class. Our polling reveals that a solid core of 30% of students are consistently in favour of free speech: this report presents policy recommendations for universities, for government and for civil society to ensure academic freedom can thrive in our universities.
What do we want from the next Prime Minister on Education?
Recent changes to university admissions are having a detrimental impact on schools and sixth form colleges – and on teachers and pupils in the process of applying for higher education