Monday marks three years of new Labour in power, and next week's local government elections in London and nationally look likely to deliver the traditional mid-term rebuke to the government.
But as we report this week (online at www.thesis.co.uk) the smart money is on a reduced majority rather than a change of government at the next general election.
This means that there will be no big sea-changes in policy thinking on higher education. But this has not stopped grants being reintroduced for poor and mature students (back page). Now MPs as well as vice-chancellors are re examining top-up fees (page 5), the issue on which education secretary David Blunkett has expressed his most intransigent reservations. Will they be the subject of the next policy switch by stealth?