Oxford's vision

January 30, 1998

The North report on Oxford University recommends that it could learn from Cambridge

Peter North, author of North report and former vice-chancellor of Oxford University

Colin Lucas (above) , vice-chancellor, Oxford University Peter North: "For the future, Oxford must be in a position to react flexibly to changing funding arrangements. It may need to consider broadening further the base from which it obtains its resources, and be prepared to modify its methods of operation and the assumptions which lie behind themI "There continues to be a strong cultural expectation in the UK that the bulk of recurrent funding for higher education will come from the public purse, and the tradition of philanthropic funding of higher education that exists in North America has not been matched in the UK. For Oxford suddenly to change this position would be impossibleI "Moreover, we believe that there are strong, positive reasons for Oxford seeking to remain part of a publicly funded system of higher education. Oxford's policies to encourage wider access to its degree courses for all who have the potential to benefit from them would not be helped if public funds allocated to the university by HEFCE were no longer available to support studentsI "We hope that Oxford will not find it necessary substantially to shift further towards reliance on private funding."

Colin Lucas said: "Clearly the university will need time to digest and assess the recommendations. But we certainly intend to do so with vigour."

Source: North report and accompanying statements

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