Securing education futures

March 13, 2014

Patrick Ainley (“Public interest defence”, Letters, 6 March) chooses to conflate the proposed merger between University College London and the Institute of Education, University of London with the privatisation of higher education and the loss of the notion of education, pedagogy and learning.

This is quite a leap. First, UCL is a public university with the same legal form as the IoE – it is not a private organisation. Second, I can assure Ainley that, whatever its form, the IoE will continue to explore the nature of learning and the future of education at all levels from primary to postgraduate. Indeed, the proposed merger raises exciting possibilities for broadening that work through stronger interdisciplinary collaboration and even wider reach.

Far from being a threat to the future of public education, the relationship will strengthen, extend and evolve the critical space in question.

Chris Husbands
Director, Institute of Education

 

Patrick Ainley correctly sees a takeover of the IoE by UCL as part of the privatisation of education and says a defence of the institute requires an appeal to a constituency beyond its own scholars and students, but what is that constituency? Students have shown the way by taking to the streets, but scholars have kept their heads down. As a student of the IoE in the 1970s, I was taught by the likes of Basil Bernstein that education cannot compensate for society. We need to look outside education at the wider social, economic and political climate to understand change in education.

Patrick Brady
Chislehurst

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham