Universities need endowments

I am surprised that some newspapers and politicians want to criticise Oxford and Cambridge Universities for having an estimated £21 bn collective endowment, including all the Colleges. They should be celebrating this success in fund raising and investing.

These savings that come  from gifts and from wise investing allow the Universities to do more. Money can be used to employ more and better researchers and tutors, and can be spent on providing help to students from lower income households. It is easier to run an independent global institution if it has its own capital to entrench its self government.

The articles we need are ones discussing  how more of our universities can build substantial endowments. More can emulate Oxbridge success by encouraging gifts and legacies from former alumni. More could build investment portfolios that take a long term view and grow the value of the fund by a decent margin over inflation. University endowments can fund start ups and the growth of spin off businesses from the ideas their faculty members generate. The can build facilities for conference businesses, with most scope for residential conferences in vacations.

Oxbridge is striving to catch the Ivy League US institutions who have been very good at attracting donations and good at investing them. Oxbridge’s endowments should be cause of celebration, not jealousy. All our universities should be pressing for more independent means, not less. Endowment money is not for immediate spending, but a guarantee of independence and solvency for the future. The bigger the endowment the more social good and academic excellence they can achieve.

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98 Comments

  1. eeyore
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    I agree with JR. It’s great to see people and institutions get richer. Only the sour and envious carp at the good fortune of others.

    Socialists love to complain about “obscene” wealth but if they really had the poor at heart they’d be condemning the obscenity of poverty. As it is, they need plenty of poor people to vote for them, so it’s no wonder they manufacture as many as they can by trashing the economy whenever they get into office.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

      Lammy and Mc Donnall perhaps the high priests of this sour, bitter and evil politics of envy and the Magic Money Tree.

      What the left want is to stoke up resentment at every turn and develope a client state of unemployed, people on benefits, people in council houses and people ‘working’ for the state. They also benefit by leaving a total economic mess behind them as then the Tories get the blame for it when they take over and try (sometimes anyway) to sort it out.

    • NorthbyEast
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      eeyore–it’s not so much about an obscene wealth held by a few- some might argue that it’s more to do with maintenance of the British Class System which is at the heart of all of the ailments in this land- The people are so cowed that when it comes to important referendum type voting on national and economic matters they are not up to it- certainly not like people from most Republican countries dotted throughout Europe. Republicans are generally people well known for standing on their own legs and not having to defer to their betters- it’s time we had a good think about all of this.

      • rose
        Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        People are generally freer in monarchies than in the republics next door, comparatively speaking.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      They also import a new poor class when we run out of home grown poor.

      I really believed that we were turning a corner before Major got into office.

      • rose
        Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that was the turning point. A tragedy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        And T May is a female version of John Major. No change no chance.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      There is nothing obscene about large amounts/wealth/money. What is obscene is when money wasted or thrown down the drain, especially where this is money hard earned money that is taken off people under threat of imprisonment.

      Politicians, governments, the EU and civil servants seem to love doing this. It is not their money and not they who get the value so what do they care? See for example The Bumper Book of Government Waste. Meanwhile the NHS still kills thousands due to inefficiency, incompetence and rationing. Why so much endless reporting on Grenville Tower (appalling as it was) when the NHS is a much bigger killer and every week?

  2. oldtimer
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    To put it more bluntly, the critics of these endowments are clueless. I believe that just about all the £2 billion that Oxford has raised in the past few years has been for endowments with specific purpose s.

  3. Mark B
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I very much agree with our kind host.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Government did the same ? What if it took all that money it gains in NIC and oil revenue and put it in a Sovereign Wealth Fund. Even if it performed half as well as the the University Endowments we would still have enough to pay for people’s care in their old age rather than rely on home owners and taxpayers.

    If anything both our political class and Civil Serpents should be ashamed of themselves.

  4. Lifelogic.
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Indeed, I give to my old Cambridge College and University but limited to spending on certain science research areas that I approve of. I certainly would not want to encourage any more PPE graduates, lawyers ( far too many already), divinity graduates, climate change exaggerators, lefty economists (who have done massive damage worldwide) and the likes. Much of what these universities do is not very sensible at all and some is actively damaging.

    I would prefer them to spend more now (but on sensible things, mainly science, medical, engineering, materials) rather than building up massive reserves. This as I invest it better than they do so I might as well not give now and invest it myself then give more later or in my will. This if they are only going to invest with a lower return anyway. They are not the best of investors on average, rather too cautious and not good a picking winners.

    Even with bonkers threats to disinvest from fossil fuels at Cambridge I think.
    As the US minister (Curry was it?) rightly said at the royal wedding “fire gave us civilisation”, I asssume to annoy do as I say not as I do Prince Charles.

    At least the claims from the David Lammy have been show from the statistics to be complete drivel as one would expect of the man. I know personally that Oxbridge try hugely to encourage more working class and black applicants. I was northern working class grammar school boy myself. They just have to apply, work hard and get make the grades. A shame crossland, Thatcher and those that followed killed off most of the grammars and May has clearly given up on them too.

    “If it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to destroy every …….. grammar school in England. And Wales and Northern Ireland”. So said Anthony Crosland, Labour’s “greatest” education secretary …..

    Lammy is working against this with his evil and unpleasant politics of envy agenda deterring them from applying.

    Though when I read that ‘New Cambridge students to attend compulsory sexual consent workshops’ or they might ‘disinvest from fossil fuels’ or the no platforming lunacy I do dispare rather and think of better causes for my money.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      ‘divinity graduates’

      – It if it wasn’t for religion (the Catholic Church), you wouldn’t have Cambridge University (founded in Catholic times). Sir Isaac Newton was a devout believer and a biblical scholar, spending much time studying the Bible each day.

      Materialism and the spiritual and religious world ABSOLUTELY compliment each other – It’s a COMPLETE (TRAGIC) myth / misunderstanding by materialists (in philosophical sense) that they are.

      – Take SCIENCE. Many of leading scientists were / are scientists – Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Planck, Heisenberg, Boyle, Pasteur, and many others. Even the main founder of modern genetics and the main founder of the Big Bang theory were both Roman Catholic priests! Stands to reason. If ‘God’ created the universe, then it stands to reason He would want us to be fascinated by the material world.

      – Take LOGIC. One of the greatest, if not the greatest, logician of the 20th century was a devout believer – Gödel.

      – Take BUSINESS. Just look at what the Quakers have achieved in the UK.

      – Take the ARTS. Mozart, Michelangelo, Bach, Shakespeare, Leonardo, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Dante, Tolkien, and many others. All devout believers from one degree to another.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        ‘Materialism and the spiritual and religious world ABSOLUTELY compliment each other’ – the material world I meant. In the philosophical sense. Not ‘materialism’ in the pejorative sense.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted June 1, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          richard feynman was rather closer to the reality on the link between science and spiritual, and my practical experience is that almost all modern practioners agree with his views

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

            Not sure exactly what point you’re making? That the spiritual can be explained, scientifically, or not?

            If you’re claiming the spiritual can be explained, scientifically, then that is HUGE. But I haven’t come across anyone taking any such claim that seriously, or at least so seriously, to be seriously peer-reviewed, and become widely validated at our leading universities, and something that can be studied as a mainstream subject.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but surely now, given all we now know, we can move away from the various irrational believe systems and grow up a little?

        Personally I really cannot see how any sensible/rational (evidence based) scientist can really “believe” in any religion. They might think that it somehow helps society and perhaps provides a useful ‘crutch in adversity for some’ I suppose. But to “believe” in an all seeing and all powerful omnipotent God, a creator and an after life?

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 2, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          ‘crutch in adversity for some’

          – It’s not just a crutch but a (Jacob’s) ladder to the stars (the heavenly realm)!

          Best

  5. DUNCAN
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Anything and everything that isn’t under political control must be celebrated and protected and that includes both colleges with esteemed histories and reputations.

    Political interference is a poison and endowments allow both colleges to limit state interference in their activities allowing them to retain their independence

    Yes, both colleges hold significant portfolios allowing a strong capital base and an annual income flow which affords a certain degree of independence from the stain of political interference

    Both colleges are known throughout the world. They are a testament to our nation. They must retain their place

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      The other danger is that the government will use these large endowments as an excuse to cut government funding to Oxbridge. Then the contribution just become a contribution to the government for them to largely waste. The last thing I want to see.

      Excellent work going on at many other universities too. Certainly some at Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton and Salford that I know of.

  6. agricola
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The politics of envy is alive and well in the UK. It seems to thrive among those who have enjoyed a privileged education, connive it for their offspring, but would deny it to the capable but impoverished. By impoverished I mean those who do not have an after tax sum of around £35,000PA to spend on each child’s education. Your party has a duty to ensure that these endowments at schools or universities are well beyond the reach of those who would destroy education for the many.

    My own school now finances about 100 boys out of 800 who show through competitive entrance examination the ability to benefit from an outstanding education, but whose parents could not possibly afford it. It comes about from donations from alumni, and is our answer to the scrapping of the Direct Grant scheme.

    A country that denies an education to it’s young, at whatever level they can cope, is not only failing in it’s most important investment, but is sowing the seeds of social unrest in the future.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      problem with education is even more fundamental than that

      segregating kids into different schools by religion is dividing society as families gravitate towards their kids schools and we end up with segregated cities clustered around the corresponding schools

      those forced to live on sink social housing estates in the North of the country far beyond travelling distance to a jobs market are also forced to use sink schools which condemn their children to the same jobless rubbish school wastelands

      parents are far too often allocated and rationed schools and have far too little say in the relationship with schools and education authorities

      and so on

  7. Peter Wood
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink
    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Woman really need to try a bit harder especially in science. I think we have 2 women out of 111 for Physics so far, and rather similar in Chemistry.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I have no problem with Universities building up capital reserves to invest from wherever they can attract revenue, be it legacies or from other means, providing they do not lose sight of the principle reason they exist, which is to further the education of their students.

    Great that they are managing and paying their own way and are being financially prudent, but surely we do not want them to become more like a business investment organisation, than a provider of education, or do we, its a fine line to balance.

  9. Andy
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    It is time to strip Oxbridge – and particularly Oxford – of its assets and to share the proceeds among the children of this country.

    Oxford symbolises everything that is wrong with Britain. It is an elitist institution – where success depends more on how much money daddy has than on any measure.

    If you are smart – but happen to be poor and black and from the inner city – you don’t get in to Oxford. If you are decidedly average – but happen to have been to prep school and Eton – you do.

    I went to a lousy city state school during the Thatcher era. Kids like me were not supposed to go university. No one from my school had ever been to Oxbridge. We were told not to apply because it wasn’t for children like us. How outrageous. It turns out I got good enough grades to have gone anyway – but no matter – my daddy was not rich, I did not have a silver spoon up my backside. Oxford was not for me.

    We have been messing around with these elitist institutions for too long and it needs to stop. They need to be given a deadline of this year – accept state school pupils in the exact % that they represent in the country or lose everything. If 85% of kids go to comprehensives – 85% of your students have to come from comprehensive schools.

    Rejoice in the fact not that another identikit out of touch Tory minister has been to Eton and Oxford but, instead, that they went to a comprehensive in Stoke.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Andy,

      It sounds like you have a very big chip on your shoulders because your parents were unwilling to support your further education.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      “Oxford symbolises everything that is wrong with Britain. It is an elitist institution – where success depends more on how much money daddy has than on any measure.”

      As with most things (except bonfires in built up areas) you are wrong. Totally wrong.

      Oxford does not get in the top five of the world’s universities by accepting people who are unworthy.

      It wasn’t Daddy’s money that got his child into university but the superb education that he bought with it.

      You have a problem with at ?

      Well I don’t. I had a remarkably similar education to yours (more of my contemporaries went to prison than university) but I understand that social advancement rarely takes place in one generational bound.

      I may not have made it educationally but my lad’s have and that’s because they’re good and ready. My wife and I gave up everything to see that they got the best education we could get them.

      One proper holiday in fifteen years.

      No silver spoons.

      Only those who have the very best grades should go to top universities.

      • Andy
        Posted June 1, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        I agree – only students with the top grades should go Oxford and Cambridge. But all top grades are not created equal.

        A clutch of A or A* grades from Eton is not exceptional.

        To be at Eton you have had every advantage in life – small classes, private tuition, extra help from your parents and school.

        If, with these advantages, you do not get an A something is wrong. A, for Eton, is average.

        On the contrary, a clutch of A and A* grades at an inner city comp is exceptional. You have not had small classes, or private tuition, possibly not even a supportive school or parents.

        These are the students who should be going to our best universities but they are not because the system is rigged against them. They do not have the connections, they are not encouraged to apply, do not have the help applying for places and – consequently – they do not get in.

        In the long run these state school kids are a better bet and the best universities need to devoted far more time and energy towards finding them.

        You make remarkable assumptions about other families. My parents could not afford to help me go to university. My dad was very ill from a young age – he died when I was a student – and they had little money to give me. I worked during my entire time at university and paid for it myself. For my family it would not have been about giving up holidays – it would have been about giving up food.

        I am not arguing that children from private schools should be banned from top universities. MY children go to private schools. I am simply saying that the university application system – which is rigged in favour of all private schools, and particularly the elite ones – needs fixing.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 1, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          You are stating how relatively poor State education is despite huge sums being spent.
          Blair killed off the assisted places scheme which helped able students from poor backgrounds to go to the best schools.
          Then Labour moaned about a lack of social mobility.
          We need more scholarships.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 2, 2018 at 12:05 am | Permalink

          Andy

          Yet another in the long list of things on which you are ignorant

          Eton comes 12th in the schools league table , apart from Westminster all the other schools above them are grammars or comps.

          My kids went to top public schools ( not Eton) What small class sizes? There were upto 30 kids in a class .

          I grew up on an inner city estate , my dad ( one of 10 kids) was disabled from birth , I went to a secondary modern and left to start work aged 15 . Give over with your stupid chip on your shoulder nonsense

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 1, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Anonymous, well said I completely agree, it has taken us several generations too.

        If Oxford has to take the odd child of a toff to keep the money flowing into their system to allow bursaries and scholarships etc. then so be it, better it be in a State University then sending everything private and elitist.

        Nepotism will always triumph, even these raging socialists always look after their own families first and give legs up to their own children first and then their nephews and nieces and friends children. It’s just life, accept it, stick your toe in the door and push hard if you want to stand head and shoulders next to them.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 1, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Does Daddy have money because he is bright and therefore has a bright wife and brighter children on average? Heritability of intelligence is generally agreed to be between 60 percent and 80 percent.

        Anyway lots of other Universities do have some excellent facilities and people. Even if the buildings and punting facilities are rather less attractive and rather more limited. You can learn almost anywhere nowadays anyway. But you probably get more useful contracts if you go to Oxbridge (but best avoid the PPE graduates).

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Bitter and twisted and chips and shoulders come mind in reading this.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Decent-minded people who’ve been to Eton, Oxford and Cambridge live by the principle, ‘With privilege, comes responsibility’

      It’s not their fault they were born into privilege. What would you have them do, turn their back on it?!

      Let’s be generous and empathetic to people of other backgrounds, but at the same time, not be ashamed of the background we happened to born into (there are pros and cons to each class).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 1, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the main con, for people like May, Clegg and Cameron types is that they have zero understanding of the lives that most people lead, and the everyday challenges they face.

        As to “responsibility” what was responsible about project fear, the pack of lies propaganda leaflet, failing to prepare for a Brexit outcome and then abandoning ship like a petulant child. Cameron was a disgrace.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 2, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          I was talking about Eton and Oxbridge not David Cameron. Lots of decent-minded, empathetic people have gone to Eton / Oxbridge (and Harrow – Churchill).

          I wasn’t talking about Brexit either. Was just defending people born into privilege (as long as they go with the good, old-fashioned British saying, ‘With privilege comes responsibility’.

          Regards

    • forthurst
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Jim Ratcliffe never attended Oxbridge; if your educational opportunities were less than his with his background, then the educational opportunities available to those from poor homes was and is degraded to no benefit for bright children without the necessary silver spoon applied Liberally. Why not wish to level up rather than level down? The failure to offer academic children an academic education whatever their background is unfair on the children and the country. However, the children at prestigious schools, some of which were direct grant grammar schools before comprehensivisation , are on average more intelligent than the average for their state school peer group so you proposing to replace one unfairness with another.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 1, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Chem Eng. Birmingham.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      The exact percentage…will that be law in your fantasy world?
      Every business amd every organisation has to reflect exactly the mix of different types of people they employ as calculated in the mix of the whole population.
      Completely ridiculous
      Dave Spart lives.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      We’re going to have to rename you Nice but Dim

      There are nearly 24,000 students at Oxford, including 11,747 undergraduates and 11,687 postgraduates.
      Oxford is very competitive: more than 19,000 people applied for around 3,200 undergraduate places for entry in 2016. That means that Oxford receives, on average, nearly 6 applications for each available place.

      Almost 45% of total student body – over 10,000 students – are citizens of countries other than the UK. Students come to Oxford from more than 140 countries and territories.

      The majority of Oxford’s UK undergraduates come from state schools. The latest figures show that, of places offered to British students attending schools or colleges in the UK, over 59% of undergraduate places went to students from the state sector.

      Just under 18 per cent of last year’s new undergraduates identified as black and minority ethnic ( 13% of UK population are black and minority ethnic)

      So more complete total and utter Andy drivel

      Blimey Andy you have some serious issues…

    • Prigger
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      At least one kid from my school went to Oxford. A rock solid Labour coalmining area. But he failed his 11-plus and spent two years in a Secondary Modern School then they transferred him as he was called “a late developer ” to a year below what he would have been at in a Grammar school. Within one year he was top of the class. They transferred him to his proper year-class and he got to be top of it, the best student. He knew more than his teachers at 17 years old. Oh and he was not white though no-one thought anything of it at the time as no-one accused anyone of being racist. His parents were working class. No advice was given to pupils of “not to apply” . No-one had the power to stop you applying. Applying and realising your own power so to do would have shown great intelligence and true Britishness. No one stops us. No-one stops us!!!!!

  10. Adam
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Those who criticise wealth & independence harbour dislike of their own unaccomplished ability.

  11. Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    It won’t be long before the marxists amongst us start to demand that these gifts should be taxed….
    If universities could actually start using this money to improve the education they provide, minus the socialism, and perhaps even lower their fees, it just might encourage major firms that take on graduates to start providing annual lumps sums to universities…. with the appropriate tax incentive this might even mean fees are not required.
    Sorry – Another daydream It would never happen of course, government seems to oppose innvative solutions these days, and prefers additional taxation to make us all equal and poor.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    If Oxford and Cambridge carry on with PC quotas in their selection of students rather than academic ability (no matter how it is achieved) then no amount of money is going to save their global ranking.

    The money came from the success of the students they selected produced under the old system.

    Minority students (and only certain minorities at that) are not being excluded because of racism but by the failure of parenting in some cultures and classes.

    These endowments are seen as funds set up by devious whiteys.

    They are not. They are simply the product of successful and traditional parenting, the likes of which is anathema to those who produced the adverts for a certain brand of oven chip – or any other advert or soap opera for that matter.

  13. Peter Miller
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Listening to the BBC yesterday, I heard a woman bemoaning the fact that no university in the UK taught ‘feminist economics’.

    A Corbyn government would obviously be concerned about this sort of thing and financially sanction those universities who did not teach the subject of ‘feminist economics’.

    There is much wrong in our universities from greedy vice-chancellors to becoming no go areas for moderate political views, but the worst is government attempts at social engineering, which nearly always go wrong.

    Endowments are a means by which universities can fight/ignore government social engineering and therefore must be a good thing.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      What is feminist economics? One where you do not need any science, logic or further maths perhaps she means?

      Lots of bonkers lefty, magic money tree economics though that is everywhere!

  14. wab
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The fluff in the media about the Oxbridge endowment is of little concern, it’s just the usual suspects trying to sell newspapers. Of more concern to Oxbridge is Redwood’s government (especially the second worst prime minister of all time) insisting on counting students in the immigration figures. If Redwood is really concerned about Oxbridge, then sort that stupidity out, rather than worrying about the fluff.

  15. Alison
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Strongly agree (but do worry about some planned new college buildings in Oxford just now). And strongly agree with Duncan – anything that isn’t under political control.

    I worry a bit about Mr. Soros’ financing of the (effectively his) Central European University and the attitudes and political ethos it promulgates. And the research that I have seen from it.

    When one is politically incorrect, one is subject to massive peer pressure, a lot of it effectively emotional blackmail. So certain opinions are simply not allowed. I fear there is a lot of that in UK universities at the moment re Brexit. )On the other hand, that may mean there are more Brexit supporters in universities than one might think, they’re just a bit quiet.)

    I see that the EU wants to allow the UK in the Erasmus programme post Brexit and to double the funding. While excellent that students are given the opportunity to study elsewhere, I fear the Commmission’s main aim with the funding is an EU aim .. indeed, the ‘front page’ of the Erasmus Commission states “It helps them find their place in our societies and develop a sense of a European identity – one that complements our national, regional and local identities.”

    If one were logical, surely Mr Soros would be supporting Brexit, as the view expressed by the majority of the people in a free vote. (Well, fairly free, if you discount the excessive financing received by Remain … err, through the government of the time.)

    Amber Rudd needs a big ticking off. She should be supporting the will of the people, Brexit – no single market, no customs union. And not threatening the Prime Minister by saying (apparently) that the majority of Conservative MPs favour a compromise.

  16. Prigger
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Tiresome, frankly, listening to lefties who graduate from Trainspotting without distinction, to Wealth Spotting with a view to stealing allegedly on behalf of working class people like me who they secretly despise.

    The Labour Party and leftie publications feed off envy and sow the seeds of envy. This urging people to theft should be treated in our politics of the UK as being equivalent to encouraging violent rioting.

    It is significant that two major figures in the Labour Party are in favour of “street politics”…mass demonstrations which police have difficulty controlling by saying ” “Now do calm down dears, you really do not wish to injure anyone!”

  17. Andy
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Incidentally – I notice Oxford (and Eton) old boy Jacob Rees-Mogg has a new found interest in Brexit Britain being like Switzerland. He says so in that bastion of sense and accuracy – the Daily Express.

    The Express went to the Swiss border and proudly proclaimed there was no border – despite illustrating its story with a picture of customs and passport control at what is, unquestionably, a border.

    The Swiss border costs only £650m a year says the Express and average delays for lorries are only 2.5 minutes. Drivers do not even have to leave their cabs! Just as well because there is no infrastructure to do that at Dover and it’s not clear if drivers will be allowed to leave their cabs in the new Tory hard-right pensioner Brexit memorial lorry park – previously known as the M20.

    Has anyone told Mr Rees-Mogg, Mr Hannan and the others who have a new found love of Milka and Emmental that Switzerland also accepts free movement?

    No, thought not.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      There are no delays at Felixstowe.
      Dover just needs to get itself organised.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 2, 2018 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      Andy

      I seriously doubt you’ve ever been to Kent. If you had you would know that all the time we’ve been a member of the EU , every year we have to enact operation stack because French customs are closed , normally due to strikes. The M20 has been a carpark for lorries for the last 20 years

      • Andy
        Posted June 2, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        I worked in Kent for several years. And your claims about Operation Stack happening all the time are simply wrong. For the first 20 years of its existence Operations Stack was used an average of less then 4 times a year – and never for more than a few days.

        2015 – one of the worst years – saw nearly a month of awfulness and that is pretty much the worst Operation Stack has ever been. The Brexiteers are proposing this as their daily solution to the customs problems their Brexit causes. How can any of you think this is anything less than a lousy idea?

        Queues of lorries. Extra bureaucracy. Huge delays. Higher prices. Fewer jobs. This is what your ideologically incoherent Brexit means. If you could not see this before June 2016 you need to be more than a little bit bloody minded not to see it now.

        Be in no doubt – the inevitable post Brexit lorry queues will be a PR catastrophe for Brexiteers. And you will own the blame. For all the EU’s faults we now know that – on every single measure – Brexit is worse. And you will be spending the rest of your lives trying, and failing, to justify to your children and grandchildren this monumental mess you have inflicted on them. It will not take their generations long to undo it.

  18. hefner
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Just a small missing point: how is it possible to compare Oxford created early 12th c £5089m and Cambridge created early 13th c £6250m to more recent ones.? By endowment the next one seems to be Edinburgh with ~£300m.

  19. Taxman
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I do think universities should be taxed for providing certain subjects enticing intelligent youngsters into career cul-de-sacs .

    There should be nothing to stop people borrowing or buying books on any subject whatever when the government is educationally and culturally advanced enough or otherwise gets round to allowing and promoting freedom of speech. You don’t need a university for that. No-one does.

    So universities should of course spend their own wealth as they wish . But not to mentally disable young people , perhaps temporarily, from practical useful knowledge. Taxing bad habits of universities as with tobacco tax, may improve their well-being

  20. APL
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Mike Hancock: “Britain will be the safest place in the world’ to be online.

    But don’t dare walk out on the streets of London in the evening, what with knife crime at an all time high. Regulate free speech on the internet.

    WE … MUST…. GET …. THE …. MEDIA …. NARRATIVE …. BACK …. UNDER …. CONTROL.

    Then the Home Secretary can make uninformed ignorant statements about Russian assassination of a journalist. Only to be completely humiliated by a Ukrainian false flag operation.

    John Redwood, will you be renewing your membership of this amateur, toy town, shambles of party?

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Humiliation now seems to be the default setting for this government of no talents.

  21. DUNCAN
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Once state backed political interference infects a private institution it’s only a matter of time before sclerosis sets in and destroys it from the inside

    Blair and his cronies perfected this Gramsci-esque strategy and we’re all paying the consequences of this grotesque politician’s activities when in office

    If the 3 horsemen of the left (Corbyn, McDonnell and McCluskey) gets their hands on the levers of power these 2 esteemed educational institutions will be ruthlessly targeted for politicisation

    The private sphere is under political attack from both Labour and to its shame, the Tories, who want to bring under political control many other areas of British life….

    Political and client state vested interests simply do not know when to stop their crusade against all things private – the private person will be next

  22. Posted May 31, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Universities need to be fully endowed and independent so that they are free of political interference and Political Correctness.
    I am concerned by how much they appear to be under the thumb of the students’ union and all the talk about “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” makes me wonder whether students who want such facilities have the mental stamina and ability to study at such universities.
    There is also something wrong when students want to ban a Professor at Oxford who suggested that the British Empire did a lot of good, suggesting that the students believe they knew better than he did. He’s supposed to be doing the teaching, not the students!
    I’m also concerned that University management should ‘go along with’ the no platforming of some speakers by the students. Universities should be places of free speech and civilised discussion, but so many students these days don’t want to hear anything other than their own point of view.
    Our Universities have got to remain independent and use their endowments wisely if they are to remain near the top of world rankings, and it is important that they do not allow themselves to be pressurised by outsiders, whether government or students.

  23. Dennis Zoff
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    As long as the subjects are science-based, funding is available.

    Preferably research and applied subjects in:

    # Engineering
    # Physics
    # Biology
    # Medicine; Veterinary; Dentistry; Midwifery; Epidemiology; Pharmacy; Nursing, etc
    # Chemistry
    # Applied mathematics
    # Agriculture

    In general “applied” subjects that are the most worthwhile to society!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Yes. But you also need maverick, creative thinkers as well, from an arts Oxbridge background – in the arts, politics and business. And so i hope you will still get arts students enjoying themselves (the Oscar Wildes of this world) but more importantly using their time at Oxbridge to read widely – not just their own Degree (i know a few Oxbrige graduates who would be much more successful and fulfilled now if they’d learned to think CREATIVELY instead of just academically).

      (You also need the Oscar Widles of this world to add a bit of wit, colour and personality to life, otherwise it can get really dull, and be over all too soon – for what?).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        And the subjects you mention – all essential of course. But they don’t necessarily produce creative thinkers – absolutely essential for business (as well as the arts, of course, and politics, and working closely with scientists to produce the great high tech products that the public want, made in the UK, for the future).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Agreed but pure maths can have it uses too.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      So Dennis do you see nothing ‘worthwhile’ in

      #music
      #design
      # the humanities
      # acting and the performance arts, dance etc.?

  24. William Long
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Do you think it is just jealousy that worries the politicians? I suspect a bigger concern for many of them is the fear that independent endowments will facilitate independent thinking and a reluctance to toe the Government line.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Hatred (to a degree).

      Socialism is often more about hating the rich than loving the poor. Instead, ‘socialists’ should try and love the rich more (not their wealth but the rich as people), and the rich might then give more of their money away, freely, instead of under duress!

    • Iain Gill
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

      They are not independent, the body corporate is legally owned by the state in this country. Unlike some other countries where they are often genuinely independent.

      They are also heavily under the spell of the same liberal elite group think as so well analysed by Jordan Peterson.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I see the Foreign Office cannot wait to absorb the Department for Exiting the EU:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/05/31/brexit-department-absorbed-foreign-office-next-year-according/

    Which does not seem a good idea, given that it was the Foreign Office which played a leading role in getting us into the EEC/EC/EU/USE mess in the first place.

    Even if we do formally leave the EU on March 29th 2019 – which is looking increasingly unlikely as Theresa May accepts/welcomes civil service advice designed to keep us in as long as possible in the clear hope that leaving can be avoided altogether – there will still be lots to do to complete all the practical details for years to come; and would you want to leave any of that to Foreign Office mandarins like Sir Ivan Rogers:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38542076

    whose primary loyalty could still be to the EU rather than the UK?

  26. rose
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    We had the same nasty class ridden attacks made on Kensington Council. If only all councils had money in the bank and plans for spending it wisely. If only all councils had good stewardship.

  27. agricola
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Off Piste but relevant to “New Homes near Clayhill Rd,, Burghfield.

    Last night I watched “Grand Design” and a Northern Irish farmer/architect create a stunning home out of four ISO 45Foot shipping containers. All at a reported cost of £130,000, which it was suggested was the target price for an “Affordable Home”.

    I feel sure that as it was on his own farm no cost of site was involved, and I imagine that it was on a sceptic tank. The internal furnishing was expensive and probably not part of the £130,000. However it was all very indicative of what can be achieved with such modest building blocks, while at the same time producing second to none architectural accommodation. In the past I had toyed with the idea for instant homes for the homeless, but this took the concept to a whole new level. If you have the facility for bringing up past programmes it was on More 4 on 30th May 2018.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      some flats built like that in London, they get far too hot in summer and far too cold in winter

      mind the default timber frame rubbish quality new build houses we turn out in this country are little better, we could do far better

      I could sketch out the obvious changes needed if anyone in the political class was listening

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, there is an article in City AM today which lays out five possible outcomes for Brexit and assigns each of them a probability:

    http://www.cityam.com/286670/brexit-balance

    But the author leaves out another possible scenario, namely that Theresa May will read my letter published in the Maidenhead Advertiser today headed:

    “Border is problem for Irish and EU – not UK”

    and in particular the last sentence:

    “If there is any Irish ‘problem’ then it is a problem for the Irish and the EU, not for the UK, and our Government should cease to allow the world to think otherwise”.

    And decide to rescind the very foolish commitment that she unnecessarily, gratuitously, offered in her Mansion House speech:

    “But it is not good enough to say, ‘We won’t introduce a hard border; if the EU forces Ireland to do it, that’s down to them’. We chose to leave; we have a responsibility to help find a solution.”

    I disagree; I don’t think it falls to us to sort out any problems the EU may experience because they treated us so badly that we decided to leave.

    Would Theresa May use the same kind of logic if a badly treated wife decided to leave the marital home and the marriage, that as she chose to leave she had a responsibility to help solve the problems that caused for the husband?

    And nor does Andrew Lilico agree with her, in this article yesterday:

    https://capx.co/mays-disastrous-handling-of-brexit-will-set-us-back-decades/

    “Furthermore, it’s up to the Irish and the EU to decide what inspections or other checks it imposes on the border. The Government should never have accepted that was anything to do with us at all.”

    The full text of my letter is here:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/05/28/social-care-and-the-nhs-2/#comment-937422

  29. mike fowle
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Quite a few years ago, Trinity College Cambridge extended their holdings of land in Felixstowe, including some poor quality scrub land near the existing but limited port area. That land has now been used in the recent extension of the port which is now the biggest container port in the country, bringing in a significant rental income.

  30. Prigger
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May’s one year deliberate delay in triggering Article 50 coupled with her antagonistic and frankly nasty insulting attitude and that of her Chancellor to the USA will cost our economy from midnight tonight. Tariffs upon us from our closest ally!!!! She should resign at midnight
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trade-metals-juncker/eu-to-impose-measures-against-unacceptable-u-s-tariffs-juncker-idUKKCN1IW1YQ?il=0

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Hmm…yes.

      And Juncker says – “It is totally unacceptable that a country is imposing unilateral measures when it comes to world trade.” – pot and kettle…

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Dear Prigger,the USA does not have allies,only vassals and clients.That has been clear for a very long time.

    • Hope
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      May speaks on behalf of the EU, trade policy remains with the EU. Again, who is she fooling? After all she did nothing about steel works in Wales when it needed help and Javid was on a jolly to Australia. Has May protested to the EU that its imposed energy policy cripples our steel industry? Anyone would think she is in charge of this EU competence, she is not. A charade to help the people turn against Trump and help the image of the EU. All remainers making false claims.

      Good to hear the chap representing the stell industry say it will make little difference to our industry as we sell very little to the US. I think I prefer his view to untrustworthy May.

    • NorthbyEast
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Prigger..we should get away from this self proclaimed nonsense that the US is our closest ally..the US has no close ally..never had..they only ever acted if it was in their own selfish interest. We are to leave the EU next March so we had better have a good think about where we are going..like others have said there are no fairy god mothers or fancy new intetnational trade deals waiting for us..it seems the WTO rules is not even working now

      • Prigger
        Posted June 1, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        NorthbyEast
        “We are to leave the EU next March so we had better have a good think about where we are going..” You don’t get it. The result of the vote was Leave. Not Remain. Accept democracy! Ten months to go and we leave. You had better have a good think and also read our history book. The US is our closest ally

  31. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    We could help our whole nation by taking a leaf out of the US book and getting ourselves a leader like Mr Trump and ditching the depressing virtue signalling feminist warrior we have been lumbered with.

    There’s optimism here in the US compared to the self loathing and negativity promoted by her in the UK

  32. hefner
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Can this really be true? Lord Lawson has applied for French residency!!!?

    • BrexiteerwivMusket
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      hefner. It shows your absolute misunderstanding of what you call Brexiteers and the reasons for leaving the EU that you might be surprised by any Brexiteer wishing to be in a European country or elsewhere in the world. We love Europe and their peoples

  33. Andy
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I notice also that 86-year-old Lord Lawson – who chaired the Brexit campaign – has applied for French residency.

    A bureaucratic process he calls ‘tiring’. Bless. I call it monumentally hypocritical.

    Let’s hope hope French say no and kick him out. As a migrant pensioner I doubt he contributes much.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Wrong as usual Andy
      Lord Lawson has lived in France for many years.
      He has been recently asked by the French authoritiesto apply for a residents carte de sejour.

      The French authorities said this shows a person is legally resident in France and possession of such a document will avoid any problems after Brexit.

      • Andy
        Posted June 1, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        I know he has lived in France a long time. That just demonstrates that I am right.

        A pensioner who has exercised his right to free movement – who enjoys that right – leads the campaign to take it away from subsequent generations.

        At the very least he should be stripped of his peerage.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 2, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          Oh my word , you claim to be really bright, Oxford material indeed. You have been told so many times now. You dont need to be in a customs union, free movement of people quasi federal state in order to live in another country.

          Us Brexiteers are big globalists in outlook , we love Europe and the various different cultures, histories and atmospheres in our European neighbours countries. We like visiting, doing business and in many cases living there. One reason France is so popular is that it has roughly the same population size as the UK but is 3 times bigger, so theres loads of room.

          I voted to leave, I’ve just bought a business in France. Meanwhile your business has collapsed. Get off here and find someone with a brain who can help you save the livelihood of your 30 employees

          The only thing you’ve ever got right on this site is the lighting of bonfires.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 2, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

          Wrong again.
          He isn’t against others living in Europe
          He isn’t against Europeans coming to the UK
          Neither are Europeanand UK governments.

          As I’ve said previously people bought holiday homes and lived andeven workrd in European countries decades before the fabled single market and it’s free movement.

    • Prigger
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Lord Lawson, contributes everything to France. He has an IQ

    • hefner
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary, let’s hope Lord Lawson gets his carte de sejour allowing him quickly to get access to Securite Sociale and get care of a better quality that he could ever expect from the NHS.

      • Prigger
        Posted June 3, 2018 at 12:11 am | Permalink

        hefner
        Yes I’ve noticed black bin liner tent cities at Dover with thousands of refugees setting fire to tyres, blocking the road in their attempts to get to France and their benefits and health system. But wait…

    • Adam
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Andy:

      France is one of our finest neighbours. It is the EU which is often other than good.

      The EU seems to be anti-UK, but Brexit is not anti-France.
      Nor is Lord Lawson hypocritical.

      Even hypocrisy can have good intent:
      Firefighters say: ‘Never enter a burning building’. They do daily!

  34. Blue and Gold
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear! The person that the wealthy, elite Brexiteer politicians and the Brexmoaners love, Donald Trump, has declared a trade war.

    So, Brexmoaners, who are you supporting, your lovely Donald or the EU?

    • Edward2
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      The EU needs to reduce its protectionist tariffs on US imports.
      Over 5% average tariff by the EU versus 3% by the USA
      The average hides some higher targeted tariffs by the protectionist EU
      A few examples
      Cars 10% v 2.5%
      Apples 17% v zero
      Grapes 20% v zero

    • Adam
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Blue and Gold:

      We support Britain.

      When we have left the EU, we’ll be disentangled from their nonsense too.

  35. Iain Gill
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I understand that UWE is far and away the richest ex polytechnic because the various local councils gave it land for free, and UWE subsequently sold a lot of the land and banked the cash

    Which just seems like public money sloshing around the system that would be better in the publics hands rather than these arms of the state

  36. John Thornley
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    It would be nice to know just what degree of ‘independence’ Oxbridge fancies they have from government. Whenever there’s a Tory government, the dons fulminate about how they’ll not be forced to do x, y and z. When Labour get in, not a peep.
    Sometimes Oxbridge squares the circle by appointing a Tory who’s not a Tory at all as Vice-Chancellor, say. Or a ‘non-political’ figure who turns out to be a rabid socialist eurofanatic.
    🙂

  37. Prigger
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    BBC Question Time.
    Caroline Flint Labour MP made continual warnings of fog which could be heard without microphone from Perth Scotland to Margate in England.
    The quieter discussion centred on which particular bits of the words democracy and referendum results the SNP had not quite understood. It turns out…all bits of the words.

  38. Ron Olden
    Posted June 3, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    The money that these institutions have is not pubic sector money. So it’s no one’s business how much they have, or how they invest it.

    What is certain however is that by investing it to such great effect they are paying more tax on the dividends they accrue and making themselves less liable to have to come to the taxpayer for support.

    And by prospering and being able to attract wealthy domestic and foreign students they are contributing substantially to their local economies and to Britain’s future.

    Lammy etc would be better off trying to make the less successful Universities emulate the best. Not waste their time whinging how elitist the best ones are. When was it ever any different?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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