Integrity is not safe in hands of 'crass' government

Phil Baty reports on fierce debate at Natfhe's annual conference

The government will destroy the integrity of higher education if its white paper becomes law, Natfhe claimed at its annual conference.

Inflamed by education secretary Charles Clarke's recent remarks that "the unfettered pursuit of truth and excellence" did not in itself justify state funding for universities, Natfhe promised unceasing opposition to the "utilitarian" white paper. Seven motions attacking it were passed.

Mary Davis of Natfhe's inner-London region said: "Clarke and (higher education minister) Margaret Hodge want to create narrowly functional and utilitarian training-only institutions for the poor while sending the rich students to a British Ivy League. We must never, ever let the government get away with this."

A motion from Natfhe's southern region said: "This conference notes... the threat to the Socratic ideal of education presented in the white paper.

Conference declares its opposition to its alternative model of knowledge transfer, with its inference of mechanical teaching and passive learning".

A motion put by the southwest region said the union was "dismayed" by plans to concentrate research funding on an elite.

Mick Jardine of southern said: "The crassness of Clarke and Hodge is a disgrace."

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Featured Jobs

Director UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL
Academic Subject Leader in Sport & Exercise UNIVERSITY OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE
President and Vice-Chancellor UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA
Professor in Strategy UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Black scholar at UCL claims that he lost out on a permanent job after his proposed course ‘scared’ the academy

  • David Parkins illustration (28 May 2015)

Is there a way for the two tribes to rub along? An academic and an administrator consider the rules of engagement

  • James Fryer illustration (28 May 2015)

A process at the heart of science is based on faith rather than evidence, says Richard Smith, and vested interests keep it in place

London centre that hosts Moodle environment affected

Diana Beech explains why her choice at the ballot box was an act of defiance against other academics