Radical reform of university funding vital

Dr Steve Davies welcomes Lord Browne's report

In welcoming Lord Browne’s report, Dr Steve Davies, Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, argues the future success of the university sector depends on the government introducing this kind of radical reform.

“The development of a thriving world-class university sector in the UK depends on giving universities the freedom to charge students the fees they consider necessary. Fundamentally, the system needs to encourage competition between institutions. It is especially important that as with banks, universities be allowed to fail and that they bear some of the risk of the loans.

“Competition for students and teaching staff is the key driver in promoting excellence in an education system. It is time that Britain woke up to this fact and made this the key pillar of our university system. The recommendations of this review, if adopted, would do just that.

“The one area missing from Lord Browne’s review is a greater focus on removing obstacles to the establishment of new universitie