Far from the final word on Browne's review 3

October 21, 2010

One key statement in the Browne Review has not been widely reported: "Businesses will not be compelled to contribute more - they contribute by rewarding graduates with higher wages." Presumably these higher wages are fed into higher fees that businesses will charge clients and, in turn, into higher profits for shareholders.

By way of contrast, Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin, an analyst at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, notes that in the US, companies, foundations and alumni account for half of all the private investment received by institutions of higher education.

Browne is in effect requiring all the private investment for higher education to come from students (and their families), but perhaps the role and responsibility of UK businesses that win greater profits because of their graduate employees warrants further debate - unless that is not PC, or even BP?

James S. Griffiths, Head of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth.

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