Browne Report on Higher Education in the U.K.

Dear Commons Community,

Greg Johnson, a colleague of mine at Hunter College, posted a message today alerting the Hunter community to the release of the long-awaited ”Browne Report” which recommends major changes in higher education policy in the United Kingdom particularly with regards to  funding and tuition assistance.  Among the recommendations are the following:

  Only students meeting a “minimum entry standard” will qualify for government loans;

   There will be a 10 per cent rise in tuition, with popular universities free to expand as they wish and weaker universities contracting or closing;

   Universities will have to provide “student charters” that will include commitments on teaching and class sizes. Those charging higher fees will be expected to give stronger commitments;

   Universities will have to publish figures showing the average salary and employment prospects for graduates;

   Students will be able to study part-time and receive government funding, allowing those from poorer backgrounds to work and study.

In one particularly controversial section, the Report also comments that:

“It is expected that central government funding for universities will be almost entirely removed. In the future, taxpayer-funded central grants are likely to be heavily targeted and only available to courses in medicine, science, technology and other specialist areas..”

This leaves the humanities and social sciences  to fend for themselves and leave their programs open to the free market.

The full report is available at: