Dear Dearing

November 15, 1996

People love British higher education - but they cannot agree how to pay for it. That is the message of many of the several hundred submissions received up to Wednesday by Sir Ron Dearing's National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education.

Today is the deadline for submissions, which have come from organisations, government departments and private individuals. Up to 1,000 may arrive by today. Many have agreed that British higher education is the envy of the world - but that more money is needed to fund expansion and to pay academics better. Where this is to come from, and especially how much students can be expected to pay, is likely to be the key Dearing battleground.

Another concern that has em- erged is the need for higher education to be available to a wider population, especially in age terms. The Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals and the Open University agree that new information technology will allow universities to provide courses at a distance and in new ways.

Also controversial is the future nature of the university, and especially whether research is to be concentrated into only a few.

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