It's really very impressive when the government manages to do both these things at the same time:
The government faces a huge cross-party revolt next week over controversial reforms of higher education that would make it easier for new colleges to award degrees, become universities and make profits from teaching students.
Labour, the Liberal Democrats and crossbench peers in the House of Lords have joined forces in an attempt to scupper what they believe is an attempt at full-scale “marketisation” of the sector – a move they say would lower standards and damage the UK’s reputation for running many of the best universities in the world.
The peers – and university leaders – also say the reforms would destroy the cherished autonomy of UK universities and allow political interference by ministers into how they are run, teach courses and conduct research.
The government is to allow a rather more free market approach. A college might become a university, a college which charges students for the education they receive and then makes a profit or not based upon the results. This is done without the government allocating money to them, funding them with grants nor, actually, having much to do with them at all.
This is then going to lead to the government having more say over how universities work?
We are impressed. We're just not sure what it is that we are impressed about. The nefarity of the plans or the misunderstandings of the Lords.
As to the basic concept we think it's great, of course. Why shouldn't people be able to offer to educate? And why shouldn't people be allowed to choose to be educated? The only problem we can possibly think of is that the new universities won't have much space for the critical studies bods and nor will the students be so indoctrinated.....ah, yes, we see the problem now, having spent two generations marching through the institutions it would be galling to find that they were replaced without you, wouldn't it?