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October 19, 2004
The Privatisation of Oxford University?

I can't say that I fully understand all the raminfications of this, but it sounds very important, and very good:

A significant number of Oxford colleges are supporting calls for the university to move towards privatisation and independence from the Government.

An analysis of Oxford's 30 undergraduate colleges showed widespread anger at government interference and concern about funding.

It also produced claims that a move towards independent status similar to that enjoyed by leading universities in the United States could begin within 10 years.

MichaelBeloff.jpgThe time frame, predicted by colleges that support a move to privatisation, is half that suggested by Michael Beloff, the president of Trinity College, last week. Mr Beloff said that increased government pressure on colleges to admit more working class students, combined with funding shortages, could force Oxford towards independence within 15 to 20 years.

Several college heads went further, however, stating that privatisation was not only inevitable, but desirable - and would take place more rapidly than Mr Beloff suggested.

You see, me, I thought these places were pretty much "independent" already. So file under: But what does Brian know? As I occasionally have to remind everyone: this Blog is for Brian's Education, as well as being an Education Blog done by Brian for all you ignoramuses out there.

Gratuitous picture there of Michael Beloff, from here.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 06:55 PM
Category: Free market reformsHigher education

Wow! Very interesting..

Comment by: MPH on October 20, 2004 03:49 AM

I suppose it means, that like the University of Buckingham, it will be run in a similar way to independant schools - private schools. That is, you only get in if you get the grades AND pay the fees.

Comment by: Sarah on October 21, 2004 12:36 PM


"That is, you only get in if you get the grades AND pay the fees."

You mean as opposed to the present system where you get in if you get the grades, and some other poor sod pays the fees?

Comment by: Julius on October 23, 2004 06:52 PM


I cannot understand why Oxbridge ever got into bed with the State in the first place. The result has been that they have fallen ever further behind, compared with U.S. universities. This step is inevitable and long overdue.

My prediction is that the wealthiest colleges will jump first, but the rest will soon follow. Give it 5 years, max.

Comment by: Julius on October 23, 2004 06:55 PM
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