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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > January 2017 > Universities challenged

Universities challenged

A thousand wasteful weeds are set to bloom in Jo Johnson’s HERB garden

Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, argues that our universities “act like bouncers,” stopping people entering their club. He also likens them to an aggressive hamburger chain: specifically, McDonald’s trying to stop Byron Burgers from setting up nearby. His Higher Education and Research Bill (HERB) purports to tackle this supposed misbehaviour. It has cleared the Commons at speed.

In fact, some 70 new universities have been established in England since 1986, with nine in the last three years alone. This is way above average for western Europe: the Netherlands, for example, hasn’t created any new universities in 40 years. But presumably the minister thinks ours are the wrong sort of new university.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s January issue: Adam Tooze and Francis Fukuyama examine the “American Century.” Tooze says that the 1917 opened the door to the future because the US seized the chance to lead, rather than for the Russian Revolution. Fukuyama says that the US has fallen from its perch, a change embodied by the election of Donald Trump. Anna Blundy puts Samuel Pepys on the couch and uses his diaries to psychoanalyse the Restoration’s chronicler. Also in this issue: Chris Bickerton examines the rise of populist parties across Europe, Peter Tatchell and Malcolm Rifkind debate whether the Uk should stop pretending Trump’s US can be its best friend, Philip Collins reviews a collection of Brexit books and DJ Taylor examines Alan Bennett’s diaries.
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