Beyond Universities: A New Republic of the Intellect

Universities in the UK have traditionally operated under a common system which institutionalises important restrictive practices. They have operated in a cartel whose output had been regulated by government. The individual firms (ie universities) are allocated quotas of students by government, and fees and salaries are set in ways that are typical of a classic cartel. The university cartel is underpinned by a further monopoly, granted as of right to each university. In the UK nobody can award degrees unless empowered to do so by royal charter.

Professor Douglas Hague takes this argument a stage further by stating that current stage of economic development is strongly based on the acquisition, analysis and transmission of information and on its application. Universities will therefore be forced to share, or even give up, part of their role as repositories of information and as power bases for ideas transmitted through teaching and writing.

In this richly original Hobart Paper, Professor Hague identifies the challenges which universities will have to meet and