Buy freedom 1

July 26, 2002

Bruce Charlton and those who argue that greater private funding would free universities from the state are living in cloud cuckooland (Soapbox, THES , July 19).

Why would government-funded student bursaries designed "to ensure an adequate supply of specialised personnel of sufficient calibre in areas that are considered to be vital to the national interest" be less of a threat to institutional autonomy than present arrangements?

And how, with all the audit paraphernalia, would the state's role "merely be to set a minimum standard for those institutions for which bursaries are usable?" Even a system that was much less publicly funded would still require some publicly supported external regulation.

Roger Brown
Southampton Institute

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