The breadth and quality of education universities once offered is now being seriously eroded by underfunding, says Dr Andrew W. Hass from the University of Stirling. But funding is not where the deeper crisis lies, he suggests. Cutbacks are just the symptom of a greater underlying problem. The real problem is an identity crisis. What is 'the university' for?
Earlier this week, the universities minister David Willetts rushed to deny suggestions that the government would allow elite universities to sell off super-expensive extra places to wealthy students. But the furore led to another proposal receiving very little attention - the suggestion that private companies and charities should be allowed to fund their own university places.
Faced with Parliament's vote in favour of the tuition fee hike, it is vital that those of us who are campaigning against it avoid the twin temptations of giving up or resorting to violence. The Guardian today (13 December) published a letter from Ekklesia and the Student Christian Movement suggesting that active nonviolence is the best way forward.