Universities, free thought and peer reviewed research

Some universities are said to be in financial trouble. It has arisen because they have expanded, offering many places to overseas students, only to find that model  poses difficulties at a time of retrenchment for international travel and exchange. Over reliance on Chinese students could be especially difficult. The deteriorating relations between the West and China over civil rights in mainland China,  the new Hong Kong law and the intellectual property issues may put some Chinese students off coming . It would be good to hear from the university representative bodies what they think about the extent of China links, and how they respond to the current Chinese policies on human rights and intellectual property.

Universities have also entered the academic end of the leisure and entertainment business, offering informative conferences during the breaks  between terms. These have stood empty for months with a substantial loss of income. They have invested in student accommodation, which has also been without tenants during the lock down period, leading to further income shortfalls.

The university establishments receive substantial research grants from governments, and some from companies for research that their sponsors wish them to carry out. The system of peer reviewing is said to be a strength, where research is assessed by other experts in the field who have the power to publish and recognise it or to mark it down and keep it out of the respected journals. Having a quality control in one sense is a good idea. There is however the danger that it encourages me too thinking, where a younger academic has to proceed around the work of a better established academic, without challenging the foundations of what the elder was doing. It can create groups of like minded people training up a new generation to think the same.

It also knocks on to governments procuring research. The senior academics are likely to influence the grant awarding and commissioning bodies in the public sector, pointing them in the way of research that bears a family resemblance to what they have already done. It can just be a case of the academies corralling around their fashionable theme or theory, seeking to prove it and extend it, whilst keeping out any serious challenge to it.

Government should look carefully at what research it is commissioning. There is no need to commission more research to extend or prove things academics claim to know. There is more need for research which pushes the boundaries and challenges some of the tired assumptions of current thinking.

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207 Comments

  1. Javelin
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    It’s business and trends come and go. A good business leader will change with changing trends and not rigidly stick with what makes them the biggest profit. A lot of post grad chinese students simply come to steal ideas from the West. Another example of short term profiteering and outsourcing of assets.

    Peer reviewing is fraught with the difficulty of finding a peer to review your paper for free. Most people don’t realise Publishers are either paid by the author to publish their own paper if they want it to be open access or charge readers a fee to down load it. It would be good to break publishers monopoly by building a system where academics could get credits for peer reviewing each others papers.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      It looks to me like you are arguing for a World Court, in which to enforce global IP rights.

      John touches on Freedom Of Expression. Accordingly, I hope that his government will make representations in the strongest terms to the US, about the reportedly thuggish treatment and detention by Trump’s police of a senior UK journalist on groundless accusations? Apparently no fewer that sixty others have suffered similar treatment at their hands whilst trying to report on recent demonstrations.

      As John Simpson says, the US is no longer recognisable as the Land Of The Free.

      • IanT
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Whereas China never was the land of the free and still isn’t.

        The US is certainly not perfect but when sides are taken, let’s be in no doubt which one we should be on.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          In the People’s Republic of China, where the coronavirus originated, citizens live in abject fear over voicing the mildest of criticism about their government’s response to the outbreak and aftermath, including government actions designed to place ethnic and religious minorities in harm’s way. Among the abuses: Chinese authorities are continuing to operate some factories by forcing Uyghurs, Muslims from a Central Asian ethnic group, to fill in for workers sidelined by COVID-19. To groups monitoring religious freedom, this was merely the latest example of official persecution of the Uyghurs, predominantly Turkic-speaking Sunni Muslims who number more than 10 million and live in the northwest area of the country known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region. Uyghurs consider Beijing as a colonizing power and have pushed for a separate homeland or, at least, greater autonomy for their region. In recent years, China has tightened its grip on the region, forcing at least 1 million Uyghurs into 85 identified detention camps.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          The point is the precipitous deterioration in the last few years, and the direction of travel.

          • jerry
            Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

            @MiC; “The point is the precipitous deterioration in the last few years”

            Oh dear, Martin shooting from the hip again, only to hit the one he loves most!

            Perhaps you should consider the plight if HK before you injure your other foot too…

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

            I wouldn’t want to live in China for one moment.

            But they have stamped out the epidemic pretty well.

          • jerry
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            @MiC; Nice switch…meanwhile people in HK are under threat of being imprisoned for showing the same sort of decent as you show towards the majority (Brexit), never mind those who took part in those (so called) Extinction Rebellion protests. But not a peep of criticism of Beijing from you on the matter.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Any comment on China where tens of thousands languish in jail on charges of saying things the regime doesn’t like.

      • jerry
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        @MiC; Funny how you always pick on supposed Human Rights failings of the Trump Presidency but never the far more serious failings of the PRC, nor Russia, never mind the PRNC..

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          The UK does not purport to enjoy the same influence in those countries that it does with the US.

          If it did, then I would perhaps not be utterly wasting my time by doing as you suggest.

          • jerry
            Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            @MiC; Perhaps if you, and your friends on the hard left, did criticise the PRC, Russia, and even the PRNC they might start to rain back their abuses.

            Before you ask, yes I would, and do, say the same to the UK hard right with regards their foreign friends.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            Jerry,
            The hard left will never criticise the dreadful malpractices in hard left nations.
            They never have in my lifetime and I don’t expect them to alter in the future.
            Over 100 million dead in the 20th century caused by socialism.
            And still they follow it like a religion.

          • jerry
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; But that is also true of those who support the hard and far right.

            Over 100 million dead in the 20th century caused by political extremism.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            The 100 million is from the end game of socialism.
            As the saying goes…socialism starts with good intentions and ends with you having to eat your pets to survive.

          • jerry
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; None so blind as those who choose not to see. Have you really no knowledge of the 20th century before 1989?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

            Keep calm jerry
            No need for insults.
            I have plenty of 20th century knowledge thanks.

          • jerry
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; So disagreeing with you and your blind spot for mid 20th century history are “insults” now, most would call it debating…

            No one is defending left wing atrocities but you appear to be ignoring those of the right wing.

            As for food supplies, there has been, and still are, many right-wing governments around the world were the countries poor need to scavenge on rubbish tips for food, and probably far worse – to our western sensibilities.

            The problem is political extremism., from what ever quarter.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Compare deaths in socialist states versus fascist ( or extreme right wing) states in the 20th century and get back to us.

          • jerry
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; For you it appear to be nothing but an issue of numbers, not a moral one – ‘nough said…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

            Well you equated hard right to hard left regimes.
            So one way of measuring their awfulness and immorality is to compare their death tolls.
            And hard left regimes have killed many tens of millions more.

          • jerry
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 4:35 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; If the far left can exist so to can the far right, I call history as my witness.

            “So one way of measuring their awfulness and immorality is to compare their death tolls.”

            I agree, so why do you always ignore the atrocities of the far right? You have at best selective sight, you only ever see what you want to see, in that you are no better that the likes of @Andy and @MiC etc.

            “And hard left regimes have killed many tens of millions more.”

            You appear to talk only of political purges by regimes, but how many millions have far right polices allowed to die through hunger and starvation, through the lack of access to medicines, or the lack of adequate and proper housing, around the world etc?

      • NickC
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Martin, I don’t recall you advocating “Freedom Of Expression” rights for Tommy Robinson. Free speech must include the right to offend – even to offend someone as august as yourself. So freedom of expression must be available to extremists such as Antifa, BLM, and the BNP, otherwise – as J K Rowling hilariously demonstrates – it is merely self-serving.

    • hefner
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      In the domain I know about, most published scientific journals (in paper or digital form) have on one of their inside covers a list of editors and sub-editors. They also produce an annual list of the scientists (academics or not) who accept to do peer reviewing, available to any subscriber usually in the December edition together with the listing of the titles of all papers published over that year.
      Some journals (US and British in particular) have been doing that for more than fifty years.

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Government should look carefully at what research it is commissioning.

    It is my belief that governments already commission such work with an answer already in mind. They just need the gloss of, ‘researched’ and ‘expert’ in order to make it more palatable whatever policies they wish to foister upon us.

    Universities have been running themselves as business for well over two decades. If we cannot save jobs in Scunthorpe (steel) and Peterborough (leisure and tourism) then I see no reason why I should be asked to save an Oxford Dom on £100k +benefits / anum. If they have any transferable skills they will find work elsewhere as many of us will soon be finding out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Well certainly not an Oxford PPE don, they have surely done immense damage as indeed have many lefty economist around the world from Oxford, Cambridge or the LSE – just look the dire list of PPE MPs on wiki. Very depressing reading indeed, with only about two exceptions.

      • UK Qanon
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        Spot on

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      I agree Mark

    • NickC
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Mark B, I well remember that my college student union operated a policy of “no platform for fascists”. Yet they defined “fascist” as anyone to the right of Labour, and even some Labour people were suspect.

      Now the universities are run on the “no platform” basis. It’s no wonder what you are (or perceived to be) has become more important than your work. So the quality of work has deteriorated.

  3. Nigl
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    We keep banging on about intellectual property but patents are lodged and published so I can’t understand why any unscrupulous entity cannot just steal them nor have a vast industrial espionage system using maybe diplomatic cover. A leaky colander springs to mind.

    We have the outcry over Huweii but very quiet on the fact the alternatives, Ericsson and Nokia are manufactured where? You guessed it China. Going to stop that too?

    100 thousand Chinese students paying top whack, we are broke? Going to stop that?

    Gung ho politicians who haven’t thought the issue through end to end, and in the meantime your party is sending out a questionnaire to its members about what taxes should increase.

    Taxing our way out of a recession, very novel

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      I tend to agree with Matt Ridley (in his recent excellent book on innovation) that the Patent system so often does more harm than good. Damaging and delaying innovation very often.

    • NickC
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Nig1, I met someone in a Patent Office whose job was to trawl patents, copy, and modify them, so that they could be submitted as a new patent.

      I researched patents in one field where it was quite obvious that a British company’s original patented idea had been copied and transformed slightly to enable the EU competitors to file their own (later) patents.

      I also know of a (different) UK company who decided to have some of their products made in China, only to find that Chinese copies of their products were on the open market a year later under a Chinese brand.

      We have been taken for mugs for too long because we’ve been run by people like Andy, Martin, etc, who consider being responsible and looking after your own nation is xenophobia.

    • Original Richard
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      “We keep banging on about intellectual property but patents are lodged and published so I can’t understand why any unscrupulous entity cannot just steal them nor have a vast industrial espionage system using maybe diplomatic cover.”

      This is precisely what the Chinese government have been doing and we should realise that their students are their spies.

      If 5G offerings from Ericsson and Nokia are also made in China then of course we need to stop that too.

      We’ve only just started using Huawei and the Chinese government and its UK supporters are already threatening us with communications blackouts if we don’t continue to use Huawei for our telecommunications.

      So its clearly obvious we need to stop buying from Huawei or the threats will increase and the UK should never give in to such blackmail just as it never gives in to terrorist kidnapping demands.

  4. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Universities have made bad financial decisions, and like all socialist concepts expect to be bailed out – They need to do what we the people have to do – Work with the budget available, kick out all the fancy stuff and get back to basics.

    Universities have succumbed to socialism and politically correct ideology for far too long, and it is time we saw government discouraging it by withholding grants where they just turn out the brainwashed mobs on our streets.

    Very good point about ‘me too thinking’ — No matter how good a report/investigation is it will never be allowed into the world without peer approval, and with the establishment controlling this, we rarely get the truth. Climate change is but one example.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      +1

      No one who is commissioned by Government to do research on say Climate Alarmism or the size of taxes and the state sector is likely to tell them the truth – they know what is required of them if they want another grant!

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        The government should, of course, set up a Centre for Climate Change Alarmism Rebuttal. It wouldn’t cost more than a million or two – but would save hundreds of billions.

        • steve
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Sea Warrior

          Nice idea but likely would be a paper tiger just like Ofcom for example.

          It’ll only work if said department has the power and the balls to instantly shut down the perpetrators.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:56 am | Permalink

          They should indeed have people to challenge the duff science they are pushing. But if the government set it up it would soon become part of the climate alarmist indoctrination system too.

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            Isn’t that what Dominic Cummings is there for,
            to break up the cosy “you rub my back & I’ll rub yours” And why the BBC & MSM tried desperately to try & make him the story so Boris would have to sack him?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      @Bryan

      Very good point about ‘me too thinking’ — No matter how good a report/investigation is it will never be allowed into the world without peer approval, and with the establishment controlling this, we rarely get the truth.

      Reporting in the Express today. A researcher by the name of LI-Meng Yan tried to report the Covid virus to her peers at WHO. She was told in no uncertain terms not to proceed with reporting this and not to ‘cross the red line’. In other words her life would be in danger if she had tried to report what she had found. Trump is right to hold back cash to the WHO. What other truths are covered up and misrepresented in Universities?

    • jerry
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      @Bryan Harris; First time I have ever heard anyone of sound mind call Universities “socialist concepts”, quite the opposite in fact, unlike with the old UK Polytechnics for example that were born out of post war Socialism.

      • steve
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        jerry

        “First time I have ever heard anyone of sound mind call Universities socialist concepts ”

        Then you probably don’t get out much. Universities aren’t the same as they used to be.

        • jerry
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          @steve; “you probably don’t get out much.”

          Your right, I do not frequent meetings of the hard right rabble… 😛

          • Edward2
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

            Stay under your quilt Jerry.
            Much safer.

            The only rabble is extreme left wingers at Universities.
            Right wingers get ejected and cancelled.

          • jerry
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 4:47 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; You really are/were quite an innocent youth!…

    • NickC
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Bryan, That’s true. And one example is that anyone who questions the activist – not even scientific-consensus – view of climate catastrophe is vilified, cancelled, or loses his job.

      The the letter by J K Rowling et al, and Michael Shellenberger’s apology for the climate catastrophe hoax, are welcome evidence that even such extremists are waking up to the damage they’ve helped to cause.

    • M Davis
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Fred H
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      universities making bad financial decisions – –
      Did their Risk Register say:=-
      1) What if Foreign students paying a premium do not come?
      2) What if UK students stop coming due to affordability/ funding difficulty?
      3) What if our lecturers resign en masse, or go on strike?
      4) Given preceding risks, which courses would be closed as a result?

  5. steve
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    JR

    “deteriorating relations between the West and China over civil rights in mainland China, the new Hong Kong law and the intellectual property issues ”

    And what about Covid – 19, do you not think that too has something to do with it ?

  6. Stred
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    SJR has summed up the present situation in the universities very well. We have a good chance now to get rid of the worst of them, starting with the ones which are run by lefty loonies that censor ideas other than their own.
    Some universities are applying a 50% overhead charge to research grants from private companies. This should finish off this line of funding.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Learned, principled, professionals censor lies and transmit truth.

      That is what you detest.

      • steve
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        MiC

        Karl Marx was learned, principled and professional, but aside from having a massive chip on his shoulder was also a big fat liar and a crank.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Your first sentence sounds like a phrase Orwell wrote.

        Check up on the cancel culture Martin.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        As most academics are leftists, and we know that their socialism doesn’t work, giving them research money seems beyond dumb.

        • steve
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          Sea Warrior

          So too [leftist] are celebrities, the broadcasters, journalists advertising agencies, academics.

          It is not just Westminster that has been infiltrated by those hell bent on destroying England and perverting christian values.

          And you’re right to suggest the money should be stopped…. in fact all forms of left wing socialism, woke – ism, PC etc should be financially choked at source before they can further weaken and pervert the country.

      • Stred
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        No Just commies who discipline colleagues and students who aren’t.

      • NickC
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Except many of those who claim to be learned, transmit lies and censor truth.

        And that is what you endorse.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          Quote a lie, which is taught to students as part of degree courses then.

          It’s not much to ask of someone making such a claim.

          • NickC
            Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            A lie? Have a look at the Climategate emails, Martin. The lies in them are regularly taught. Teaching that genetic males are women is another set of lies.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

            Those things are not taught in UK academic institutions.

          • NickC
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

            Feeble, Martin. Your original statement was about “learned, principled, professionals”. You’ve slyly changed that to “taught in UK academic institutions”. Not the same. But actually they are taught, anyway. More importantly, such “learned” lies “inform” government policies and the MSM.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            No, you did.

    • hefner
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Well, you should get to each university website and actually search for overhead/indirect cost on external money.
      Most universities ask for a 10% overhead to deal with a research GRANT (a one-off amount of money), 30% to deal with a research CONTRACT (a usually multi-year project including laboratory/field work/computer costs and possibly salaries for graduate students). Higher percentages often appear (like 65%) but are only applied on the part of the funding directly linked to a salary, which can at times be only a small fraction of the original proposal.

      So your 50% overhead charge is to be taken with a double pair of tweezers.

  7. Adam
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Those who seek to protect erroneous theories by urging friendly peers in support, expose their own worthlessness. Truth is big enough and ugly enough to take care of itself. Those who attempt to destroy truth fail. They succeed only in creating evidence of their sham, radiating paths all leading backward to expose their false intent and malpractice.

    Those who use truth to challenge veracity deploy immense power and righteousness. Everyone should use it for better government.

  8. Nigl
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    I see the billion pound research facility recently announced is likely to go to Germany. The Treaty that you are prepared to reduce the quality of our lives over was only for 50 years, when these changes would have been inevitable.

    So you are happy to die in an economic ditch over 25 years? Extraordinary!

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Indeed less misguided group think and more independent thought and research. Of course universities might do rather better if more than about 25% of the degrees they push were worth the £75K and three years loss of earning that they cost.

  10. Javelin
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I suggest you go and read the comments about working from home in the Daily Mail. All the comments tell Boris they are more productive, save money and happier working at home. They are potent words. More productive means and less cost means bigger profits for companies. Happier means more votes.

    The comments also say the people were told the virus is still around, only 15% of the country have immunity, so people are not going to take the risk of dying. The politicians, nudge unit and MSM have scared the people and now the people are happier where they are. The people don’t want to die to save Starbucks and commercial property companies who don’t pay any tax anyway. You would be crazy to tell people they are going to die one week then tell them to go out and die the next week. But that is what has happened.

    The comments also say politicians have also been banging on for years about green policies so the people now see less commuting, less pollution, less waste. Again politicians and the MSM scaring the people.

    It may be an opportunity to shift spending away from central London to local towns. If politicians were clever they would realise greater happiness and higher profits point the way to the future. Either way there have been huge unintended consequences from the lockdown.

    • Nigl
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Yes really difficult to really understand what the government position is, so many u turns, still no test and trace, scare stories in the papers and, to me, meaningless numbers, above 1 below it etc.

    • SM
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      How can an orthopaedic surgeon replace your hip by working from home?

      How can you build a road working from home?

      Or milk cows, or clear a sewage blockage, or tile a roof or fly a plane?

      Ad infinitum…

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        SM. Correct. It would seem that only office workers will have that privilege. The rest of us have to go out and do something to bring in the wages. My friend works for the NHS and is a secretary . There are some in her office who are still working from home but because they don’t have all the necessary information at home they are a burden to those having to carry on in the office. They have to take up the slack. I’ve seen a few people ‘working from home’ and most of the time they are just lounging around drinking coffee. No wonder they don’t want to go back to the office.

      • NickC
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        SM, So true – most real work does not involve only sitting in front of a computer.

      • dixie
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Robotics and telematics

      • Original Richard
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        SM,

        You may be surprised how fast communications, robotics and AI will change how work is performed.

        Structures, equipment and processes will in the future be designed to allow robots to perform many tasks.

        Back in 2014 a surgeon was already controlling a robot surgeon from a distance to carry out operations such as colon operations and hernia repairs.

        Robotic milking already exists.

        Fly a plane ?
        Ever heard of drones ?

        • SM
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          And when the batteries or any other power source fail, or the electronics go on the blink?

          And yes, I’ve heard of drones and maybe one day when my great-grandchildren are running things, technology will have developed a way of flying a full-size aircraft without a pilot in the same way that the London Dockland Railway works – but in the meantime……

          • Original Richard
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

            SM,

            Autopilots for flying “full-size aircraft” already exist.

            I was fortunate enough in 1979 (pre 9/11 days) to fly in the cockpit of a Jumbo Jet from Barbados back to London HTW and as part of testing/training the pilots used the plane’s autopilot to land at HTW.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      I think London is going to die as a work and living centre – what makes people work there is shifting out in effect, what makes people want to live there (social gathering) is gone and no amount of Sunak money is going to bring it back.

      I’m highly confused by the policy of easing lockdown whilst it looks like we’re going to be forced to wear masks everywhere in a few weeks.

      Either things are getting better or they aren’t.

      This (and the loss of our freedoms) are starting to have the smack of permanence about them – how I CRAVE my old freedoms.

      They’re telling us it’s alright to go to pubs and restaurants but the official mood is turning towards us all wearing masks everywhere.

      Muzzled in every sense.

      Hey. This outsourcing of our manufacturing jobs and sending everyone to university instead… went really really well, didn’t it !

      I’m afraid we’re not getting up from this and certainly not while social distancing is in place.

      Perhaps social distancing has worked but regardless – we were told this was going to be like the Black Death. And with the best will in the world social distancing has been very loosely applied in the office at work and in social and domestic settings.

      I am not sure that I know anyone who has had CV19 and I certainly don’t know of anyone who has died of it – I do know one person who has died at a young age on a waiting list for a routine operation BECAUSE of CV19 lockdown.

      I expect if you stood anywhere and asked a group of people “Anyone here know someone who has had CV19 ?” you might get a few murmers “Anyone know someone who has died of it ?” I doubt very much.

      There aren’t any real celebrities who have died of it – we know the husband of a very minor celebrity in a bad way and we’ve heard of some stage person on Broadway that no one knows the name of… but that’s it.

      We should have heard of quite a few major celebrities and politicians who have died of CV19 by now but haven’t.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        “And with the best will in the world social distancing has been very loosely applied in the office at work and in social and domestic settings.”

        My own work place – being a key worker. Domestic settings meaning the functioning of my elderly neighbours and how everyone is interacting as friends.

        Proper social distancing has been over for a couple of months now in my circles.

        This continued shut down seems utterly futile and economically suicidal.

  11. Irene
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    “It can create groups of like minded people training up a new generation to think the same.” That at is exactly what is happening with politicians/MPs, sadly. All too frightened to think independently, all singing from the same pathetic hymn sheet, without a sign of free thought or analysis anywhere. Just a slice of lemmings heading towards the cliff edge. Government should look carefully at what it is doing, as should all MPs. Does this country really want or need to return to insularity?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed nearly all MPs are daft climate alarmist, identity politics, socialists wanting ever more taxation and ever more government, ever more NHS and government red tape. Exactly the opposite of what is needed.

      Maria Miller MP was appalling the other day (a deluded lefty LSE economist). She is chair of the cross-party Women and Equalities Select Committee and was supporting an idiotically damaging bill to Parliament which will among other damaging things prohibit employers from making women redundant during pregnancy and for six months after their return from maternity.

      There is no real gender pay gap or discrimination Maria – it is work life balance choices and job choices that women and men choose to take – get real and look at reality – you silly dope.

      • Nigl
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        How chauvinistic and ill informed about women’s choices.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:04 am | Permalink

          It is perfectly clear the sensible work life balance choices they take once they have children and potentially large child car costs. You just comparing wages before and after or for women with and without children. Many for example choose not to commute into London once they have children and take a local lower paid job that fits better (but without the same commuting and childcare costs.

          Not chauvinistic or ill informed at all just facts. Very few (quite sensibly) choose not to work away from home for long periods on oil rigs or building projects and similar once they have children.
          Not that many women choose to study engineering, physics or computer studies either or to work on dust bin lorries.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        What Maria is proposing is clearly just more, blatant, anti-male discrimination by force of law.

      • Andy
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Maybe nearly all MPs are climate alarmists because you should be alarmed about the climate.

        You appear not to have considered that, when it comes to climate change, you might be wrong.

        And here’s the thing: what if you are wrong?

        If the vast majority of climate scientists are wrong all they happens is that we spend money making our planet greener – something they would happen anyway.

        If you are wrong we might not even have a planet.

        This is why nobody really cares what you think. We can take the risk, even if you turn out to be right in the end. (Which you won’t).

        • Edward2
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          So you believe the world will end in 12 years time?

        • Original Richard
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          Andy :
          “If the vast majority of climate scientists are wrong all they happens is that we spend money making our planet greener – something they would happen anyway.”

          “No”, if the climate change activists have their way before the technology exists (which it doesn’t) to implement the carbon free world they propose then this will bring economic and then political collapse.

          Those Marxists and Green campaigners “in the know” (as opposed to their cannon fodder followers) know this to be the case which is why they are pushing this green agenda which does not include nuclear power.

          [BTW, increased CO2 makes the planet greener.]

          Please do not tell me that “the science is settled”. This is what the scientists and the elites said of the model of the universe up until the 16th century when Copernicus and then Galileo came up with an alternative. Not until 1924 were galaxies discovered by Hubble who thought the age of the universe was 9bn years. It is now thought to be 14 bn years.

          All our advances in civilisation were brought about by the age of enlightenment, which started in around the 16th century, and which the Marxists in our universities and institutions are trying to destroy in order to gain power.

          It starts with no-platforming and sacking anyone with a different point of view, just as it did in Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

          • Andy
            Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

            Yeah.

            Climate science is settled. The climate is changing at a record pace bad man is responsible.

            There are still people who think the world is flat. Don’t worry old chap. You will get there.

            Incidentally, the technology to fix most of this exists. What doesn’t is the political will.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:05 am | Permalink

            +1

          • NickC
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

            Andy, No science is “settled”. That’s the nature of science; and you demonstrate that you don’t understand it.

        • NickC
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Have a read of Michael Shellenberger’s current views. As a climate activist he has now realised he was wrong and has apologised for misleading us. That makes you wrong.

          None of the predictions of global warming catastrophe made in the last 30 years has come true. Not one. There is no reason why the current crop of doom scenarios are true either.

          And as for your claim that “the vast majority of climate scientists” believe in your activist inspired CAGW, have you looked at the paper which produced the “97%” figure? It’s trash.

      • DavidJ
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Indeed LL; we need the “swamp” draining PDQ.

      • UK Qanon
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • M Davis
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        +1 Lifelogic.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Thusday’s World at One seemed to be almost completely given over to the dulcet tones Theresa May. At one point she said “I do not think there is anyone in the country sitting listening to this programme …..” (who would not rather I shut up and went away I thought) but she actually said “who is saying it would rather be them dealing with this (pandemic) situation”.

    Well I would certainly not want to be a politician as I value telling being about to tell the truth (rather than lying and going to endless photo-ops in high-viz jackets and pissing money down the drain).

    Then again had they asked and taken my advice we would have locked down about a week+ earlier (but in a more selective and intelligent way), we would certainly not have dumped 20,000 people many with Covid into care homes, I would have encourage the use of masks from the start, we would not have had a dire state monopoly health system at the outset and we would have a far stronger and larger economy.

    Historically we would never have joined the EU and certainly would have left in 75, never have had Blair’s wars on a lie and Libya, never have started HS2 or had the expensive energy and greencrap agenda and never have joined the ERM. Plus we would not have the current absurdly high and complex tax rates and the bloated but largely inept state sector, Plus the Grenville Tower victims would have been told to get out hours earlier (indeed I would never have pointlessly clad the building). The BBC would not be a left wing green crap propaganda outfit, universities would be teaching largely sensible, truthful and useful things, we would have fair competition and freedom of choice in education (with education voucher for each child), we would have free speech. Plus we would a have sensible, quality only, immigration policy, a bonfire of red tape, cheap energy and easy hire and fire.

    But no one asked me or any other sensible person it seems.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      You got the CV19 thing 100% wrong.

      • hefner
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        At least LL was not afraid to state clearly what he was thinking about the Government’s handling of CV-19 and to provide his own analysis of the figures. So much better and informative than the usual yapping of some on this blog. What do you think, Woof woof Lynn?

  13. GilesB
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Universities are not fit for purpose.

    Their most important function is pure research – extending the boundaries of human knowledge. This deserves Government and corporate funding. The allocation of research funds has to be flexible, recognise that great discoveries come from totally unexpected directions, and allow for massive long-term cooperative missions such as CERN. Complex committee structures filled solely with academics with departments and careers to protect is not the best way to allocate resources. Nor should top researchers be lumbered with teaching duties.

    Undergraduate studies are an extension of high school. There is absolutely no need for them to be taught by leading researchers. Nor does teaching need to be done away from students nearest institution. Students who want three years of ‘finding themselves’, or partying, or escaping from living with parental rules, should not be subsidised by the 50% who do not go to university. Lectures for more than one hundred students are an obsolete method of teaching. Video recordings, interactive software, and even gaming are much more successful methods. Plus small group discussions – which with modern technology can also be online. Let’s use the best teachers to develop the best material for all students – we do not need 101 versions of Accounting 101.

    The third role of universities is to support the application of existing knowledge. But university funding, and career prospects, currently have very little incentive to help companies and public sector organisations. This needs to change. Instead we have seen in business the massive growth of management consulting, which demonstrates the demand for such services and the value created.

    A fourth role is as flag-bearers for intellectual honesty, tolerance, and free speech. Their woeful response to the rise of ‘no platforming’ shows that they are failing in this role too.

    It is time to start again: not tinkering around the edges.

    Start with greater clarity about the purpose(s) of a university, how success can be monitored, and in broad terms how the sector should be funded. Given the purposes design an appropriate set of institutions (which almost certainly includes bringing back Polytechnics without a role in research, and more institutions focussed solely on research like All Souls. From the purposes and the overall structure one can devise appropriate governance structures for individual institutions and the sector as a whole. Then, and only then, can one consider the details of funding.

  14. MPC
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I suspect you are alluding to much UK climate research from which the continuation of government policy based on conventional wisdom, rather than true science, simply means in reality no beneficial effect on climate due to the export of manufacturing and the fact we are a small island. Like minded MPs could effectively stress that government is in fact aiming to make the UK the lowest polluting nation but at the expense of extraordinarily expensive energy and long term economic decline. They could also identify true academic research (and there is plenty worldwide) which challenges the conventional wisdom, thus serving to gradually make more people aware of what is to come.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      +1

  15. Michael
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    UK universities are following the same path as US universities in becoming hot beds of marxist idealogy, political correctness and pseudo science. Imperial College specialises in computer models that are as realistic as a game of GTA on a PS2. They appear to be able to produce climate and infection models entirely to benefit special interests and in doing so destroy economies. I’m sorry to say the obsession with degrees has done endless damage to this country and most universities would be better off closed.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      +1

    • BeebTax
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      So true, I wish our host and his party would call this out.

      I was also astonished that he does not mention student debt, not least because it is one of the most pressing issues for a generation of young voters. The government endebts thousands of young people each year, in order to transfer the money to our universities. In return the universities give out degrees that often are of little benefit to their recipients. Worse still, they also indoctrinate thousands of students with woke, Marxist nonsense…the few students who make it into establishment jobs go on to perpetuate this destructive ideology and could ultimately undermine our fundamental freedoms.

      The marxist ideologues of the 1960s realised that the population was not ripe for revolution, and that the destruction of our liberal democratic capitalist system would be a slower process than they hoped. By taking over the universities, then spreading into the professions ( which are mostly degree-only entry), they have very nearly supplanted the old establishment. The false narrative of victimhood and privilege, with the associated erosion of free speech, is leading to the most privileged in our society seeking to scrap what we have and happily replace it with an Orwellian totalitarian system (run by themselves, they hope).

      • M Davis
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        +++

  16. Sea Warrior
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I gather that much ‘student accommodation’ is privately-owned and marketed, mainly, at the overseas student. As much of it is of high quality, I find myself wondering if we are about to see a wave of high-quality ‘bed-sits’ becoming available in our university cities, for potential use by non-students. I hope that there are no legal blocks likely to get in the way of a partial solution to our housing crisis.

  17. ian
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Maybe some new research on magic money trees and depression might come in handy for themselves and politicians along with a new tax system, nothing in that area has changed for many a moon maybe because this system fills their pockets up nicely without having to think.

    I have done a little research on office workers going back to work in London, they seem to be ok if they do not have travel too far on public transport but all said they will now take sandwiches with them to work instead of eating out at lunchtime and in the evenings because they now realise after staying at home and working that they are saving a fortune and can now realise their dreams in life with the money they are saving, there earning were 60,000 to 80,000 a year.

  18. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Interesting. Free thought – not free speech.

    • steve
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Bigneil

      Actually the left have attempted to criminalise right wing thought.

      Yes, the thick sods really did believe it possible to know what someone is thinking.

      Similarly they’re still trying to make ‘disliking’ a criminal offence.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Could you perhaps provide some evidence for any of that?

        • NickC
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Dr Mike McCulloch, a mathematician and physicist at Plymouth University, thought his academic career could be finished when his employer investigated some tweets that he had ‘liked’.

          The three tweets were: one that stated ‘All Lives Matter’, another that ‘Gender has a scientific basis’, and the third expressed opposition to mass immigration.

          He had to get legal help. When he did so his university dropped its investigation. He could have lost his job but survived as a marked man. Others have been less lucky – most notably the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Sir Tim Hunt.

          See the full article in Conservative Woman.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

            That is evidence – albeit rather flimsy – to support a different claim from the extraordinary ones made by Steve.

          • NickC
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

            Martin, you asked for evidence – though it is freely available if you’re willing to look – and you got it.

            If you have the “wrong” ideas (ie: right wing ideas) you get censored, pilloried and sacked. As Roger Scruton, and the guy who paid for an “White Lives Matter” aircraft banner, found out.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Steve – there are exceptions. For instance – when I listened to Corbyn waxing on in his usual decision avoidance, my demeanour surely gave away what I was thinking? Much the same when Kinnock rambled on and on and on.

    • DOMINIC
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Yes, telling from Mr Redwood. The Tory party capitulated to cultural Marxism in 2010 and they’ve expanded its programs across all areas of our nation and beamed into our living rooms using the power of sport, tv and celebrities

      Scruton and Starkey have both paid the price for this party’s most vile shift to the extreme left to join Labour and their bottom feeders

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Well, if you will follow sport…

    • IanT
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Yes, you can think it – but don’t dare say it.

    • zorro
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Speaks volumes….errr

      zorro

  19. Robert McDonald
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I have experienced the self serving approach of university academia to research grant allocation and utilisation. I find their approach to employing research staff, usually PhD qualified, on temporary contracts as a lazy way to manage resources, as the posts can be, indeed usually are, terminated when a grant ends with no come back on the senior academics. This is poor management and certain to lead to complacency and lack of innovation. A well managed organisation will take a long term view of research and plan to develop and keep good staff instead of throwing them on the street. Sadly academia does not do good management, they do talk and pose. There must be a better way, making professors jobs tied to development and utilisation of their staff may be a starter.

    • glen cullrn
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      There are so many people with degrees, masters and PhDs they’ve become irrelative

  20. Everhopeful
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I should think the “unis”(yuk) are the least of anyone’s worries.
    The PM has just finally finished the economy and country off. Irreversibly.
    Masks to become compulsory everywhere.
    Note how PM sucks in his little blue mask…struggling for oxygen.
    Its a great wonder he doesn’t faint.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      @Everhopeful. Great giggle of the day..

    • zorro
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Indeed – forceful compulsion to wear masks with the threat of fines is completely out of proportion with any genuine risk, and there is no evidence which proves that they can stop the virus going in or out. There is a lot of evidence that the wearing of masks over time is very detrimental to health and particularly of those with respiratory conditions. This whole long crisis is a psychological operation in enforcing compliance in advance of the Big V…… In any case, we should still all give thanks to our Glorious Dear Leader Kim Jong Son for his beneficence and eternal wisdom! He can never be wrong!

      I hope that you have all noticed that our Ever Feared and Dreaded Commissar of All The Intelligences Dom Khuo Ming will be looking at all security services so that they can learn from his brilliance. Some people might think that it is like a plot from a James Bond film (Spectre) with the all-powerful ‘C’ the master of all. Let us hope that he does not meet the fate of ‘C’…..

      zorro

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        It’s a £50,000 fine and/or three years in prison if you’re found out in public without a mask in Qatar.

        People around the world do seem to be taking this quite seriously.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          Martin the Oppressor.

        • miami.mode
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

          Wow, who knew they use £s in Qatar?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

            It was quoted in euros actually, for some reason.

            Trump is now wearing a mask in public, I see.

            I don’t endorse Qatar’s policy, but it is interesting how the seriousness of approach varies between countries.

          • miami.mode
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            Why try and skirt round what you wrote. You specifically wrote that it was £50,000.

  21. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I hear on the news today that the government is considering enforcing the wearing of masks in shops.
    This I discover is simply on the basis of what scientists THINK! Where is the research to support the theory that it reduces virus spread?
    I would like to ask what is the probability of transmission if I or the shopkeeper is or is not wearing a mask. Is the probability small anyway irrespective of a mask? Is it quite large, but does wearing a mask make much difference, particularly if an infected shop worker has been there all day?
    I don’t want to hear about scientific opinion; I want hard evidence from experiment and scientific analysis, but it seems this is in short supply. What are the relative risks of particular activities?
    I used to like Patrick Moore on The Sky at Night. He used to frequently say “We just don’t know”. I wish the present day purveyors of popular science would be equally frank, and stop pushing scientific opinion like it was confirmed as certain as the theory of gravity.

    • Nigl
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Indeed. We have been pleading for such evidence for months on this blog. Our host’s silence, I think gives the game away.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Agreed. I gave up taking any notice of the figures issued re CV-19 some months ago when I discovered that the ‘daily’ death figures covered a period of weeks but were reported as though they were deaths on that particular day.
      As far the compulsory wearing of masks I heard that this was to improve people’s confidence to go out. I may be unusual but I find it has the opposite effect on me. I have no desire to wear a mask and if it is made compulsory in shops ( where it hasn’t been since this started) I shall avoid going to the shops.
      This whole situation has gone from tragedy to farce. The damage to the general health of people and the ruination of the economy is incalculable even with Sage’s dubious mathematical models.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      The government advisors, supported by the WHO, told us for months that Data showed the public wearing masks was of no benefit and on balance might be harmful. So why should we believe them when now they say the exact opposite ?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Everything they do proves that they don’t know what they are doing.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      I see a boom in internet shopping. I will not wear a mask just because some scientist has some unproven opinion about their efficiency. Viruses are so small they will pass through the holes in ANY paper or cloth mask, whether you are the producer of the “breath” or recipient…I know so, I did microbiology in my old job. They are quite useless. The public are being mass-hypnotised into believing they will be “safe”.

      • miami.mode
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Would it make any difference Chris, if say 2 or 3 layers of masks were used instead of the 1 layer that seems to be recommended and indeed possibly compulsory?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      What a joke. All these weeks without masks and now we might have to start wearing them. Be prepared for a big price rise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Exactly, some things can be predicted fairly reliably and some are not are not remotely predictable. Climate has massive uncertainty even the climate for next week let alone for 100 years+. The idea you can model it on reliably expensive computers is for the birds we do not even know half of the inputs such as Sun activity or volcanic activity and even it we did we still could not.

    • Andy
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Scientists do just this, repeatedly.

      • NickC
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Andy, How would you know? By your own writing we already realise that you are technically, scientifically, and mathematically illiterate.

    • BOF
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Good comment DA. The whole lockdown farce has been based on scientific guesswork and supposition.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Go outside, in good light, and speak as if conversing with a dinner companion two metres away. I expect you will see – as I did – little droplets being projected. Masks make sense – common-sense.
      P.S. I now sit asymmetrically opposed, to increase distance – and wear a mask when speaking with the waiting staff.

    • Bill B.
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      If you are in any doubt about the uselessness of masks against a virus, please watch this video by a University of Reading professor, at about 4 mins 40:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtuNSmUZcyY&t=3s

      We should still keep funding universities.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Obviously the cutting edge “scientific” advice so eagerly sought by the govt. embraces the “Miasma Theory”!
      Govt. also seems to be reading from the US 1918 Flu script when opponents of mandatory mask wearing were branded “dangerous slackers”. Masks didn’t stop the spread then did it? So why would it help now?
      The next edict will be the burning of sweet herbs on every street corner.
      I can’t believe that anyone with a classical education can be unaware of the implications of masks. Fear, subterfuge and subjection.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        PS
        Not to mention the gagging function as in Scold’s bridle!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Yes. We Just Don’t Know that it is safe not to wear masks. So let’s wear them. And stop all this silly whingeing.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        That logic means we stay locked down for ever.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

          New Zealand, Australia, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Slovakia, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and a growing number of other countries have not had that problem using this approach.

          Wearing masks does not wreck the economy. The blunt instrument of lockdown does.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            I was referring to your safety first for ever attitude.
            Rather than masks specifically.
            Easy for old retired people.
            Not so easy if you have a young family and rent to pay.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        We Just Don’t Know if it’s safe to get out of bed, so let’s just stay in bed and stop this silky whinging.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        you’d know about whingeing.

  22. M H
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    “I want the general public to know that science isn’t run the way they read about it in the newspapers and magazines. I want lay people to understand that they cannot automatically accept scientists’ pronouncements at face value, for too often they’re self-serving and misleading. I want our citizens, non scientists as well as investigators, to work to change the way research is administered. The way it’s currently funded and evaluated, we’re learning more and more about less and less, and science is becoming our enemy instead of our friend.” Robert O Becker MD author of The Body Electric first published 1987.

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Good to hear Lord Tebbit on Chopper’s Politics Podcast still going strong – He finishes with:- Government does not have to be the provider of health services or the provider or education – What government do you need not how much government can you have?

    Spot on as usual can we clone him please.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful man.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      The corollary is “The People do not have to be prevented from providing health services themselves nor does Society have to be prevented from doing anything else that its consensus wants”

      That fact that they are absolutely prevented from doing those things by minority Tory rule is the position as we have it.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        That is ridiculous logic.
        Education and health could be provided vrry differently.
        And much better and much cheaper.

  24. acorn
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Would you believe it’s back to the Fifties / Sixties UK nationalised industries Apprenticeships! As I suggested previously, GW fancies the German systemhttps://www.bmbf.de/en/the-german-vocational-training-system-2129.html

    GW (Gavin Williamson) has criticised the idea of wanting half of all young people to go on to higher education, describing it as an “absurd mantra” and signalling an end to a pledge made by Tony Blair in the 1990s that has been supported by successive governments.

    The education secretary said he wanted to see a revolution in further education and vocational training in England, and updated Blair’s motto, saying: “From now on, our mantra must be further education, further education, further education.”

    His speech was a preview of the Department for Education’s white paper on post-school education to be published in autumn, which aims to overhaul the types of qualifications offered by colleges to create a “world-class, German-style further education system”, according to Williamson. (Guardian)

    I still have my first City & Guilds Certificate I got as an Apprentice.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      So, how many students will be funded for their useless degrees – Media Studies, Law, Psywhatever – this September, or next? I look to Williamson for some action. Sticking young uns with a huge bill for a degree with no ‘graduate premium’ is just plain immoral.

  25. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    There should be far greater access of University facilities to SMEs. They pay Corp Tax, yet when wanting some minor project to be carried out e.g. measuring a new part using very expensive equipment which they have de facto paid for, they get charged a small fortune.

    The current R and D recuperation against Corp Tax is fine if you have a worker earning big money. It basically just gets you a partial refund of their wages. Why not instead (or as well as) issue R and D vouchers to the value of a rolling 25% of Corporation Tax paid by SME’s plus say a £25K voucher in their first year of trading?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      nb this voucher scheme would also help in your quest to turn one person bands into lartger enterprises. R and D tax credits to micro-companies are, as I say, tough to apply and also don’t cover one off but high-tech tasks like measuring, high vacuum processes, fume cupboard processes etc.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Good idea

  26. Fred H
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Knowledge is King – but he can still be poor! More investigations should be conducted to provide us with an edge – technical, medical and chemical. All this research has to be funded by us – not by foreigners who will take it away with them.

  27. DOMINIC
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    The Tory’s have gone full woke. Why? Fear?

    Mr Redwood. This is not your politics so why don’t you stand up and condemn it in the Commons?

    We know you to be a decent and honourable politician. I personally believe you are one of the ‘good guys’ but neutered by party loyalty

    The woke is now termed Red Fascism or the Fascist Left. This rejection of freedom of speech, individualism, freedom of thought and of language and the use of an all powerful political State determined to smash our private world and force compliance is the greatest threat to our freedoms since 1939.

    These are very dangerous times and people will pay a heavy price for continually giving the two main parties their electoral loyalty

    We need a party of libertarianism not fascist wokeism

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Spot on as usual!
      Surely soon MPs WILL have to stand up and be counted..since we are sliding towards ..well not sure…but worse even than 1939.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Spot on as per usual.

  28. a-tracy
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I believe the University sector is bloated and overextended for the academic needs of our Country, there are insufficient vacancies requiring many of the skills taught and if you truly want to know which Universities and which courses take a look at which of their grad students are in jobs that enable them to pay back more than the interest level each each on the student loans within five years of graduating. I’m sure this includes certain courses at the best redbricks that are used to funnel less academic children if the great and good into.

    We’re told we don’t have enough Doctors and Nurses in the U.K. well re-funnel into those courses we do require.

    The anti-Tory rhetoric and left wing indoctrination at our Universities has been an amazing revelation to me, children quickly learn to keep their mouths shut and don’t disagree with group think and lecturers opinions if they don’t want their grades to suffer.

    This new ‘cancel culture’ that never-ending student types on the University payrolls and journalists like Owen Jones frequently exhibit just goes against everything fair and just in the U.K. and the next thought, idea or object might be something you agree with or like so don’t just ignore issues because you’re not that bothered.

    Does the government own the intellectual rights or the Universities or the individual student of what is created? Or how is it shared, if the government doesn’t own any of it then why when they want taxpayers money?

    • anon
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed a problem & a solution.
      Indeed we have a shortage of Doctors and Nurses.
      Apparently we have other technical shortages.

      Any category where a deemed shortage exists should attract immediate grants to citizens to retrain and mitigate. Overseas job offers should be considered short term to cover this skill gap. No training grants to citizrns , then no work visas granted.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        We should attract our own Medics who have fled rather than face the NHS every day, back. There are thousands of them.

  29. ukretired123
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    “You don’t know how lucky you are!”
    That was the key message to all “advanced” Western countries from a USA immigrant yesterday and it is absolutely profound. Many do not know they were born is an old British saying.
    Many in so-called HE are institutionalised thinkers not doers and have a resulting serious imbalance of common sense, which cannot be taught. They miss out on the academic/practical mix which was the very key to success in many years ago. Simulating experience on a computer or watching a TV of Life outside or life in Africa is no substitute for the real thing. It gives students a false hollow experience instead.

    The problem Higher Education have is arrogance from on high and they follow the money incentives rather than their original raison d’etre.

  30. a-tracy
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    One more problem for Universities – in the past wealthy graduates who had their tuition paid and grants from the government to pay for their living expenses owe a debt of gratitude for their good fortune and their ability to grab the best jobs to their Alma mater so I would assume the majority gave freely funds, issued grants etc. to pay back. Students since 2018 (except the fortunate ‘sponsored’ teens) have been paying their own way through the tax system 9% of their earnings over £17k it started) for the very little one to one tutoring on most courses and hundreds of students in each lecture for 30 weeks of the year so they’re not going to keep topping up Alum grants they’ve had this money in advance and blown it on inflated Heads enjoy while you can.

  31. acorn
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink
    • NickC
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Blink? I nodded off part way through the intro. It’s typical EU – at once self-important, sonorous, obfuscatory, and arrogant. Even the first few lines are loaded with propaganda. You wouldn’t think from reading it that we are simply going to deal with the EU as we already deal with the USA. And of course that is its intention.

  32. Christine
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Let’s examine the use of Hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 in its early stages. We had Trump expounding its virtue. Immediately the Lancet published a bogus peer reviewed article stating that it didn’t work and caused heart failure. Then we had the WHO stopping countries from doing further research into the benefits of this very cheap drug. We had YouTube taking down any videos posted by other experts questioning the WHOs decision. We had the UK trial administering the wrong dose of the drug. Now we have clinical trials that show Hydroxychloroquine, if administered early, cuts death rates by over 50%. It cuts it even further if administered with zinc. These institutions have a lot of blood on their hands. Something is rotten in our society where profit and politics is put before the wellbeing of our people. Maybe if we still had some real investigative journalists, these people would be uncovered but unfortunately, they have sewn up all avenues of potential exposure. I don’t expect this information to be posted I just wanted to try and get the truth out there.

  33. Richard1
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    We hear far too much of ‘the science says’ or ‘experts say’ as if that’s the end of the debate.

    There is an urgent need for a US-style red team-blue team exercise on key decisions which are based on the recommendations of experts or expert bodies. It should have happened with the Sage recommendations on the Wuhan virus. It should have happened on HS2 and it should now be happening on expensive green blob driven policies. Establishment thinking has nothing to fear from this if their arguments and data stand up to rigorous analysis and scrutiny.

    I thought this was the sort of thing mr Cummings was meant to be bringing in. Perhaps he still will.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      ‘The science says’ heat is a good killer of covid- really then how come we’re being told it’s taking off in Florida, Texas 100 degrees and Arizona right now in mid-summer – muppets!

      • Christine
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Aircon maybe

        • a-tracy
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          I’ve been told on this blog that the outbreaks were caused on the beach with May day holidays opening up in the States and by Covid outdoor parties of all things, especially as it seemed to be spreading most amongst ‘younger folks’! Makes you wonder if they had a few ‘superspreaders’ such as the ones that infected large numbers in the early days in the UK that returned from holidays in Europe.

  34. glen cullrn
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Government set the conditions of funding universities and indirectly sets the parameters of free speech / thought

    He who pays the piper calls the tune

    In the next round of funding just include the following in the contracts – do not rename any building, do not remove any statue, do not use our funding for foreign students, do not infringe on free speech / thought

    This government could solve these issues overnight if it wanted to

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Does this Government see these issues as ‘problems’?

  35. WingsOverTheWorld
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Although perhaps too crude for your audience, there is an enlightening video about this very subject on YouTube by Joe Rogan (search JRE #1191). In it, he interviews two (of three) plotters who wrote 20 papers for peer review, 9 of which were published, one of which received an award. The catch was that the papers were all made up, deliberately inflammatory (one of the ones published used passages from Mein Kampf, replacing the term “our movement“ for “intersectional feminism”) but 9 were still published. Some reviewers even wanted the authors to go further in pushing a left-wing narrative before publication. It is a funny, scary debunk of social justice in academia. Crude, but enlightening: search JRE#1191 on YouTube.

  36. Caterpillar
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    As noted at point (vi) here

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2020/06/28/remodelling-universities/#comment-1129886

    I think it is important for international students to the UK to have the opportunity to experience, in Sir John’s earlier words, an environment “dedicated to rigorous thinking, a tolerant exploration of a range of viewpoints, and fearless enquiry”. It is concerning that some UK (as well as Australian) universities are complying with Chinese internet restrictions and providing online courses that only permit ‘allowed list’ materials.

    It is important, even urgent, that free and open debate returns to U.K. campuses, media and society in general. The weak-minded ‘cancel’ culture must be pushed back.

  37. Jack Falstaff
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    It certainly does seem that the universities are vying with authoritarian governments for a monopoly over “thought control” at the expense of genuine debate and critical thinking.
    What has particularly disturbed me of late is, not only the pathetically blatant use of “experts” from academia for manifestly tendentious purposes, but also the way “statistics” and “facts” from equally biased “surveys” are given such currency as sources or pegs for news coverage.
    I am afraid that many consumers of both the media and published academic work can no longer distinguish between “transparent” and “see-through” now, which saddens me.

  38. JimW
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Climate change is a prime example of ‘group think’ at Universities. God help you if you actually follow the scientific method. Just ask some excellent scientists around the world, especially in the US and Australia.
    We have to say no to face mask fascism. There are no, absolutely no scientific basis for this imposition. There are many studies showing risks of wearing them. This is a physical signal of adherence to State edicts nothing more.

  39. Ignoramus
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Talk of Chinese students being put off from coming to the UK is meaningless. The number of Chinese students coming depends 0n how many the UK will allow and how many the Chinese government decide to send.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      exactly.

  40. Paul Artes
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    This piece reads as if it had been written 10 years ago by someone without much insight into what happens at universities. COVID surely impacts on our attractiveness to foreign students, but more so does the quality of the education that’s on offer. Education is a global market, and UK universities need to stretch themselves to compete with institutions in the US, Australia, and Europe – and increasingly China, India, Africa have universities that can compete for well-qualified “home” students on a par with those in the West. Tory education policies have had a devastating effect on the education sector – don’t blame COVID.

    • NickC
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Paul, We’re not blaming covid19, we’re blaming hard left woke lecturers.

  41. DavidJ
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    We should be educating our own, not the Chinese. Alongside that we need more people in practical apprenticeships rather than pursuing degrees of no practical value, which often include indoctrination in the Great Global Warming scam.

  42. Ian
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    A lot of Establishment bashing today, one of the worst which might have been forgotten to day.
    Non other that the Brussels Broadcassting Company.
    Some of us work it out for ourselves, if something does not seem to ring true , we stick with our own common sense, and a lifetime of being governed by people who simply just only delivered there ego, and taxes.
    Like the tax on buying a house, I have heard that the Government actually took less money, simply because less houses were sold.
    The people who dictate to us sadly have never employed anyone of there own, run a buisiness of any kind.
    Never had to think for themselves

    That is good education not the rubbish of group think, follow the crowd.

    Why is there never the other side of an argument shown on the TV, only the Left view ?
    Why is there so little debate on the Establishment, how are The Lords able to get away with behaving like They are the main event, but with no responsibility, and worse, they are not voted in or out ?
    Why are there so many Remainers still in place, both as civil servants, and in this Government, no wonder we are seen on our knees.
    Laughing stock around the Globe
    Why are we still not looking after our industrial companies.
    Can not drill for gas but willing to by from Russia
    The Establishment is total Rubbish and we are not pleased, they do not bother to back the Law of the land, they are charged with keeping this Nation Safe

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Because there are, amongst the well-qualified and the educated, more pro-European Union people than there are phobics. The analysis of the vote has been quite extensive and diligent. The vote splits on those metrics more so even than on age.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        You live in a democracy where rich people and clever people get one vote each.
        Same as the rest of us.
        One minute you champion the poor and the working class next you reveal you only want your preferred elite to have a say.
        Very illuminating.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        So wrong! You really are ignorant on a spectacular scale.

      • NickC
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Older people had less opportunity to go to university when they were young – it simply wasn’t available. Nor is getting a degree a sure cure for being an EU dupe.

        Most people in most countries value their independence. Ask India whether it wants to be ruled from London. Likewise here, sensible people voted for independence.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        especially so in Cardiff?

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        The ‘educated’ you refer to have been indoctrinated and – in many cases – Erasmussed. For all their degree education, they show little other than conventional thought and an unwillingness to change. And they value saving a few seconds at an airport beyond such things as sovereignty.

  43. David Brown
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Universities should be properly funded by Gov through taxes

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Why should tax payers pay – most of whom have no degree? Surely they should be mainly funded by the people who benefit from the knowledge and training that (some) impart – the students. Especially if they are reading sustainability and gender studies at the ex-poly of Bognor, Media studies & Drama or PPE or Geography at Oxford.

      • mancunius
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Oh but surely Geography at Oxford is a demanding discipline that has moulded political giants such as… (oh dear, now I’ve gone and forgotten her name…)

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I only partly agree. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect students to pick up half of their tuition costs and all of their living costs, IF they are just moving out of the family home for the sake of the ‘university experience’. People value what they pay for.

    • mancunius
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      So that the wealthy scions of overseas state elites can further their well-paid careers at the expense of the indigenous poor. Yes, that sounds like the sort of idea that would be popular at High Table.

  44. Original Richard
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    The government should make it clear to universities that if they continue to allow “no-platforming” or calling for the sacking or actually sacking people for holding views or producing research which are not popular with the educational establishment then they will have their funding cut.

    Universities need to be able to show they still believe in freedom of speech.

  45. mancunius
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    “Over reliance on Chinese students could be especially difficult.”
    Particularly as any true meeting of minds must a problem, given the blinkered groupthink, contemptuous cadre elitism, anti-colonial cultural cringe and clichéd institutional marxism of, erm, the UK university lecturers. Still, I expect the Chinese students find it mildly amusing. 🙂

    • Stred
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      I met some Chinese students last year at a party. They were on a one year course on business and engineering. They could only speak English with difficulty and were friendly and honest. They thought that the course was a waste of time but had enjoyed the experience of visiting. I was invited to visit Wuhan. Thank goodness I didn’t.

  46. John Thornley
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    So that the wealthy scions of overseas state elites can further their well-paid careers at the expense of the indigenous poor. Yes, that sounds like the sort of idea that would be popular at High Table.

  47. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Education , education, education. The Blair years took the outlook for a future well educated population to extremes and for all the talk. standards for the many have gone down.There are still many exceptional students far ahead of the masses , but immigration has taken us down to starting point again, rather than building on what we already had.

    Language is the most important part of sharing knowledge and there are so many around in the UK that most disciplines have been brought down to meet comprehensive needs. Universities also became very greedy and now they are feeling the squeeze.

    I believe in a mixture of training and education for in the mixture of both, thinking about what we are doing and believing in it can be questioned ; not that without education we can’t question , however it also sets a precedent to give permission to an alternative thought process and the discovery of how things are manipulated to keep canons alive and uppermost in society.

    China I read are more focused into their sole culture so they will not evolve as easily as others where many perspectives of culture are brought into play.We are now set to learn and evolve more than ever and diplomacy, tolerance and democracy need to lead.

  48. Iain Gill
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    this is another subject that Jordan Peterson has said a lot about, in YouTube lectures, and so on. he is almost entirely correct. nice to see at least one politician catching up if only a little bit.

    I commend to John everything Jordan has said on this.

  49. forthurst
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    The Medical Research Council, the Dept of Health and Social Care and Dept of Work and Pensions funded a study into treatments for a condition known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Psychiatrists, unlike other members of the the medical profession who obtain objective evidence of the conditions they ascribe to patients, believe they know what is going on in someone’s head without such evidence, so when a patient complains that they have chronic fatigue despite not being able to produce any known physiological basis for their sensation, they determine the patient has a false belief which is caused by a flat battery for which the treatment is giving him a boost involving psychological interventions to get them going again.

    The aforementioned study is known as the PACE trial and involved several hundred patients and various interventions believed to provide the patients with the necessary boost. The interventions consisted of Specialist Medical Care, Adaptive Pacing Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or Graded Exercise therapy. The first involved medications and advice, the second was to train the patient not to overexert himself causing a relapse, the third, talking the patient into believing they were better, and lastly, gradually getting patients back up to speed.

    The study authors maintained that the interventions of CBT and GET ameliorated the patients condition and their analysis of the results supported this, whereas patients themselves did not necessarily believe they had received an amelioration rather than an exacerbation of their condition.
    Most patients suffering from CFS report having had an infectious illness from which they did not completely recover; this implies that their condition lies in the realm of immunology rather than psychiatry but whilst the psychiatrists can continue to engage in expensive research leading nowhere, those researchers who might possibly advance understanding of the condition are starved of funds because a model of the illness has been captured already and is zealously guarded.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      We live in a physical world where the mind / body distinction does not exist.

  50. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Just for starters, to ensure that the rest of the funded universities understand, Imperial College and that dangerous, expensive idiot they employ, Fergusson, must lose all funding for good!

  51. Edwardm
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    The university sector has expanded too far. It will have to take the consequences.
    Unfortunately it will affect students mid-course who may have to transfer to non-failing universities mid-course.

    We are sending far too many young people to university and putting them in great debt before they start work. Many graduates end up doing jobs that do not require a degree, or for which their degree is irrelevant. This is a waste of much time and learning effort and an ineffective use of resource. This is not a universal criticism, of course some degrees are relevant.
    Many jobs do need training, but need focused courses.

    From what I can make out, me-too pressure on researchers is strongly applied in the area of global warming, which creates an obvious problem for alternative analysis.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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