Higher education has become unsustainable and young people know it. Radical change is the only solution


On a recent visit to the barber, my hair was cut by a young man who told me he had graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in football studies. He was friendly, articulate and skilled in his profession, but I doubted whether he thought his qualification was worth the debt he will carry as a millstone around his neck for 30 years.

Today, hundreds of thousands of young people receive their A-level results, and it is difficult not to worry about their future. The fortunate among them – those studying at the best universities and taking the best courses – may go on to prosper. But those who choose the wrong institutions and courses will see little benefit, while those who do not go to university – still a majority of young people – will be neglected.

This is because successive governments have pursued a higher education policy based on a mistaken assumption. Ministers have…



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