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Some help for Vince Cable

August 11, 2010

My comment following  the interview with Vince Cable (talks to Decca Aitkenhead in The Guardian, Monday 9th August).

I’m sure you’ll agree that self-deprecation and honesty are admirable characteristics in a politician, but  in the case of Vince Cable and without the customary spin, it leads to some frightening insight. Reading his interview in Monday’s Guardian, I wasn’t surprised that that he is surrounded by colleagues who have gone to Cambridge, but that they consequently ‘tend to forget what universities like [Teesside] are doing’ is a bit rich. It certainly does not bode well for the Coalition’s higher education policy. This is really poor politics, because diversity among the institutions that form higher education in the UK has long been recognised and the pattern of that diversity has been researched. Some advice  – why not read  Malcolm Tight’s book on the Development of Higher Education in the United Kingdom since 1945 as a starting point, or just Chapter 5 in this case?

Regardless of whatever has been written and or what is understood about the sector, I fear that it will not prevent the Coalition from making funding cuts without thought to the consequences.

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