Higher Education – a risky business

While the English HE sector as done well financially in the last eight years, there is a culture of risk aversion within the university. In this post I think about the issues and consider some of the effects on my Faculty and on my work in education.

A critique of the University of Cambridge’s external financing approach from the perspective of modern money theory

Remarks for the discussion at the Senate House, University of Cambridge on 6 November on the use of funds from £600 million bond issue Deputy Vice Chancellor. The Council has already approved of raising external finance by issuing bonds of up to £600 million. And I understand that this discussion is about the use ofContinue reading “A critique of the University of Cambridge’s external financing approach from the perspective of modern money theory”

Apparently there are too many PhD students

There have been some conversations in the University, I understand, that there are too many graduate students competing for too few academic jobs. There was some discussion also that we should reduce the number of graduate students. While the first statement might be true, I take issue with the second. Globally, there might be finiteContinue reading “Apparently there are too many PhD students”

Multiplication – the privilege of mathematical thinking

I love John Mason. It is always a pleasure to listen to him as he takes you with him through his exploration of mathematical thinking and learning: “sit there and close your eyes and imagine a number line…” He takes you on a journey of ideas, connections and new understandings of the relationships between conceptsContinue reading “Multiplication – the privilege of mathematical thinking”

Anti-semitism: it is time to listen, reflect and learn

The issue of anti-semitism on the left has to be taken seriously. I do not believe that the Labour Party or even the left of the Labour Party is any worse than the rest of society or any other political party. But I do believe that members of the Labour Party have a special responsibility becauseContinue reading “Anti-semitism: it is time to listen, reflect and learn”

The Higher Education pensions dispute: a perfect storm of neo-liberalism, marketisation and austerity

The current dispute between the University and College Union (UCU) and the representative body of the employers, Universities UK (UUK), is over imposed cuts to pension benefits. According to the UCU, the annual retirement income of academics will be reduced by 10 to 40 percent. This is on top of real-terms pay cuts of 19.5Continue reading “The Higher Education pensions dispute: a perfect storm of neo-liberalism, marketisation and austerity”

The Labour Party’s radical vision for education: the opportunity of a lifetime

The Labour Party offers a bold and radical vision for the future of education. Here, I look at the economics and consider the possiblities

Responding to Teach First’s Social Mobility Report

Teach First’s Social Mobility report is useful. But isn’t there an irony or paradox here? Can we address neoliberal problems through neoliberal means?

The Production of Money: Ann Pettifor’s new book and its implication for school spending

As Ann Pettifor’s book was published, it was both amusing and perhaps a reflection of current times that one of the most complete and effective reviews of the Production of Money: How to Break the Power of the Bankers was in Vogue. The following are some thoughts on the economic system and some observations on Ann Pettifor’sContinue reading “The Production of Money: Ann Pettifor’s new book and its implication for school spending”

Notes   [ + ]

1. http://www.ucu.org.uk/circ/pdf/UCUBANHE14.pdf
2. Ibid. The accounting model changed in 2016/17 but the sector continued to secure considerable surpluses.
3. https://medium.com/@mikeotsuka/oxfords-and-cambridge-s-role-in-the-demise-of-uss-a3034b62c033
4. It is not really leaving the UK, more accurately it means there is domestic accumulation of Sterling as a consequence of overseas trade.
5. https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/new-figures-reveal-dearth-poor-students-russell-group-universities