Palmerston Court Development in Battersea given the green light

Urbanest’s Battersea scheme (designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris) was recently granted final approval from Wandsworth Borough Council. The core elements of the mixed-use scheme include the creation of 868 student accommodation units, 6,125 sq m of commercial offices, a 1,758 sq m Enterprise Business Unit, 70 sq m of retail and café space, […]

Crisis could be a chance to change education for the better

In the mid-19th century, Japan was an impoverished feudal backwater.  A fleet of American warships totally humiliated their navy, and compelled Japan to sign a highly disadvantageous treaty. Within a matter of just a few years, the Japanese completely transformed their system of government and industrialised very rapidly. This is just one of many historical examples […]

The left’s support for university students is fuelled by political self-interest

Why do left-wing politicians want to shower money on privileged members of society? In general, university students have a higher intellectual ability than non-students, and often come from more desirable socio-economic backgrounds. But leftists can’t do enough for them. For instance, Jeremy Corbyn in 2017 promised to abolish tuition fees from 2018 onwards. He went […]

Why we should allow second-rate universities to go bankrupt

The political spotlight remains focused on Brexit, but an important dogfight is developing in the area of higher education. The specific issue is whether universities in the UK should be allowed to go bankrupt. It is not merely a theoretical question. In the past year, a number of universities have announced deficits running well into […]

The misguided sugar tax is an ineffectual way to price the externalities of obesity

One of George Osborne’s last acts as chancellor in 2016 was to announce the so-called sugar tax. This came into force last week, in line with the original timetable. Drinks manufacturers are taxed according to the volume of sugar-sweetened beverages they produce or import. The tax increases with the sugar content. The aim is to […]

The university pensions strike is a selfish bid to hold future generations to ransom

University lecturers began a strike over their pensions last week. The dispute may even run on and jeopardise the summer exams. The main issue is that the universities’ pension scheme seems to be in substantial deficit. To solve the problem, a move from defined benefits to defined contributions is proposed. With the former, the pension […]

Anti-capitalists in UK universities need a refresher course in the perils of socialism

The great Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter, writing in the 1940s, predicted the eventual demise of capitalism. He did not want this to happen. But he envisaged that the “intellectual class” would eventually develop values which were hostile to free markets and private property. Schumpeter’s definition of “intellectuals” was very wide. He meant people in a […]

Incentivise predatory universities with a proportional grade-linked fee structure

The A-level results have come and gone yet again. Underneath all the hype and excitement, we can see the reliable old friend of economists at work. Namely, the impact of incentives. Michael Gove, in his previous Cabinet incarnation as education secretary, decided to restore the meaning of grades in A-level and GCSE exams. Until the […]