28 results
Date Name

Labour Party Conference 2016: Four Days that Shook the Wirral

The Labour Party conference has come to an end and the HE wonks that were there have headed home. Despite the awkwardness, Martin McQuillan stayed in the house during the family domestic to get a grip on The World Transformed.

Critics of the graduate tax are shouting at straw men

Jim Dickinson responds to the legions of public critics of Owen Smith’s plans for a graduate tax, arguing that there are just as many problems with the current fees and ‘vouchers’ system.

The graduate tax: higher education’s zombie idea

Owen Smith’s revival of the graduate tax idea is the latest attempt to find an ugly compromise between tuition fees and free education. Politicians need to chose one or the other, argues Will Cooling.

The left is lost on higher education

Emran Mian argues that the left is offering no constructive alternative to the government’s market-led agenda in HE, and thus have very little of use to add to the debate.

Lost Labour’s love is not higher education

Martin McQuillan argues that with an HE White Paper and a Bill heading to Parliament, the Labour party’s opposition has never been more important. But they’ve been nowhere on HE in quite some time.

Labour rules out new HE funding policy

At Labour Party Conference held in Brighton, we report from an HE meeting were Gordon Marsden – the new shadow universities minister – strongly ruled out an early new commitment around HE fees and funding.

Profile: Gordon Marsden MP

A profile of Gordon Marsden, the MP for Blackpool South who will be shadowing the universities brief on the Labour front bench and leading on HE issues for the Shadow BIS Team.

Profile: Angela Eagle MP

Following the announcement that Angela Eagle will serve as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, Zaki Dogliani profiles the Wallasey MP.

Labour Pains: Corbyn and the University

On Saturday Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party. He campaigned on a promise to abolish university tuition fees and fund higher education through direct taxation. Martin McQuillan looks at what it all means for higher education and the previous consensus on HE funding.

Winners and losers from £6,000 fees

A fortnight ago, the higher education choice at the forthcoming general election became clearer as a result of Labour’s policy announcement. Graeme Wise returns to the issue to assess the winners and losers from the £6,000 fees policy.

£6,000 fees: unanswered questions

As the dust settles on the Labour announcement that they would lower fees to £6,000 next year, Julian Gravatt looks in detail at the policy and asks ten questions on funding, regulation and policy that are raised by the promise of lower fees.

The £6,000 question

As the shockwaves reverberate, Mark Leach takes a look at the reaction in the press, sector, political parties and in early public opinion to Labour’s plan to lower fees to £6,000.

Labour announce £6k fees for 2016

Labour have announced their long-anticipated policy to reduce fees from £9,000 to £6,000. Ed Miliband also announced that Labour would raise maintenance grants by £400. Emily Lupton goes through everything we know about the ‘fully funded’ plan. This piece will be updated as information becomes available.

A small sigh of relief?

Following Labour’s announcement that they would lower fees from 9k to 6k, Alistiar Jarvis looks at why the policy isn’t nearly as bad as some in the sector had feared – but warns of challenges on the road ahead.

Live: Labour’s higher education policy announcement

Live updates, analysis, commentary, reaction and general wonkery from Mark Leach on the day that Labour sets out its plans for higher education funding that the party will take to the country at May’s General Election.

Labour’s HE funding plan – why raiding my tax break is a good idea

In the run up to Labour’s expected announcement that they will cut fees from £9,000 to £6,000, Graeme Wise looks at the method proposed to pay for it – the controversial cut in pensioner tax relief – and finds a progressive solution that has the added benefit of rolling back the marketisation of the sector and reducing some of the risks associated with the student loans system.

Fees, austerity and war: understanding the student vote

In the week that the Labour Party is expected to set out its plans for higher education after the General Election, Adam Wright explores the student vote, how it maps against wider social trends and looks at how and why student support for the Green party may impact Labour in May.

The art of the implausible

A week after vice chancellors intervened in the General Election campaign with an attack on Labour’s tentative proposal to lower tuition fees – citing its ‘implausibility’ – Martin McQuillan argues that the intervention was a mistake that may now backfire.

Labour higher education funding policy 101

On the day Universities UK launches a major political intervention in to the HE funding debate, Mark Leach takes a look at the current state of Labour Party fees policy. How we got here and what the options are for a way out that satisfies the increasingly difficult political and economic climate.

Labour fighting about fees?

Shadow Universities, Skills & Science Minister Liam Byrne has given a far-ranging interview to The House Magazine this week. It includes some interesting clues to where Labour is on HE fees – a question on the lips of much of the sector. Perhaps more intriguingly, this interview and other briefings are being used as evidence elsewhere for Labour being at war at the top.

(It’s) Hard Labour?

Labour’s 2015 position on higher education policy – of all the three main political parties – is still probably the hardest to predict. But this is not necessarily because of the affordability of a £6k or even a £5k fee (the IPPR costed it at nearly £2billion up front – even more for a graduate tax – an awful lot to spend in a cash constrained election). Andy Westwood continues his series marking party conference season and takes a look at the state of Labour’s HE policy.

Are we heading for a breakdown?

The Coalition Government is in terminal decline. Its sense of purpose has dissipated and internal politics threaten to derail the whole enterprise. The higher education policy circus that came to town in 2010 reflects more than ever the tensions within the Coalition and the bizarre, inconsistent and occasionally bad policy-making that stems from this faltering political arrangement. The Coalition’s expiry date is May 2015, and despite the entire Government machine fixing its sights on that date, things may fall apart before then.