On the Poverty of Student Choice

Student Choice

Alberto Toscano and I wrote a piece for The Sociological Review blog on the latest proposed changes in Higher Education, the full piece can be read here.

After the previous White Paper, ‘Students at the Heart of the System’, which accompanied an increase of tuition fees to £9,000 a year, higher education is now faced with a new White Paper, whose title has a strangely 1990s ring to it: ‘Success as a Knowledge Economy’. When the changes were first proposed last year, Jo Johnson, the government minister for universities and science, declared that the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) would include ‘outcome-focused’ metrics and include ‘incentives’ for teaching improvement. It was linked to the Research Excellence Framework (REF), with Johnson continuing to state that ‘while we have a set of measures to reward high quality research, backed by substantial funding (the research excellence framework), there is nothing equivalent to drive up standards in teaching’.