Lord Dearing dies

The man who helped shape the modern higher education landscape has passed away. John Gill reports

February 20, 2009

Ron Dearing, whose landmark review of higher education made him one of the sector’s most influential figures, has died.

Warm tributes have flooded in for a man whose sweeping review, which was published in 1997, fundamentally changed the landscape of UK higher education.

His legacy stretches from access to quality, but perhaps most significant was the part he played in the introduction of tuition fees.

The principle of fees was firmly established by his review, and fees remain one of the most controversial topics in higher education 12 years on.

Lord Dearing, who was also a member of the Times Higher Education editorial board, died on 19 February after a battle with cancer. He was 78.

David Greenaway, vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham, remembered Lord Dearing, a former Nottingham chancellor, as someone who was “always humane and thoughtful”.

He said: “Those around him always knew they would be taken seriously; you never got the impression that he was going through the motions.

“He was a very intuitive character, and although he was not an academic he understood the value of education in general and higher education in particular.

“It was a real privilege to work with him. I know that is a bit of a cliché, but I genuinely mean it. He was a great man.”

john.gill@tsleducation.com

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Elderly woman looking up at sky

A recent paper claims that the quality of researchers declines with age. Five senior scientists consider the data and how they’ve contributed through the years

Otto illustration (5 May 2016)

Craig Brandist on the proletarianisation of a profession and how it leads to behaviours that could hobble higher education

Woman tearing up I can't sign

Schools and universities are increasingly looking at how improving personalities can boost social mobility. But in doing so, they may be forced to choose between teaching what is helpful, and what is true, says David Matthews

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration 19 May 2016

Tim Blackman’s vision of higher education for the 21st century is one in which students of varying abilities learn successfully together

Door peephole painted as bomb ready to explode

It’s time to use technology to detect potential threats and worry less about outdated ideas of privacy, says Ron Iphofen