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April 29, 2004
Theodore Dalrymple on the British higher education export trade

Theodore Dalrymple, writing in the Spectator about the (impeccably legal) corruption of Britain's public services, has this to say about British education:

We cannot even organise a public examination system for schoolchildren in this country so that the results mean what they appear to mean. As for our universities, they blatantly steal the money of foreigners by virtually selling degrees that will soon start to devalue like the mark after the first world war. No longer scholarship and learning, but bums on seats and grade inflation to guarantee yet more bums on seats next year, these are the aim of our institutions of higher education.

I on the other hand like to think that since our universities will be operating in a genuinely competitive international market, all those foreign students will keep them up to the mark, and will thereby be doing us an even bigger favour than parting with their money to us.

Let's hope that I'm right about that, and that Dalrymple is being too pessimistic.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 08:51 PM
Category: Higher education

I enjoy your blog and read it regularly, but I'd like to thank you in particular for clueing me in to Theodore Dalrymple. It is such a pleasure to read one of his articles. I just wallow in them.

Comment by: Matt on May 1, 2004 01:54 AM
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