A mid-term rebuke will not provoke big change

April 28, 2000

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?

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