Will the 'new, new' universities be good for the sector?

December 23, 2005

The Times Higher finds opinion divided on the issue

"There is overprovision in the sector already and some institutions are finding it hard to perform as proper universities maintaining a good balance of research and teaching. All this will create is an even larger group of disaffected academics who are frustrated and constrained by the lack of research funding. It is inevitable there will be casualties."
Computer engineering professor

"Expansion of higher education is always a good thing, together with and integral to the agenda of widening access. New and old universities must collaborate more in research and teaching - we are all too small and insignificant to work in isolation. Old universities have a lot to learn from new universities - particularly when working with communities, with local enterprises and with developing work experience opportunities."
Dental health lecturer

"This expansion merely confirms my suspicion that no one seems to know any more what universities and the degrees they offer are for."
Physics professor

"I am delighted that these institutions have been granted university status. I know of research being done by academics at four of them and the academic respect held for all six."
Music professor

"Since most of these institutions are likely to produce third-rate academics instead of first-rate technicians, this will be injurious to the country and therefore to the sector."
Psychology professor

"It does no one any good to erect class barriers or prevent 'immigration' within the system. The sector benefits from diversity and from the inclusion of new constituencies and markets. But government and funding bodies should be responsive to that diversity themselves and not attempt one-size-fits-all policies."
Classics professor

"The entry of the latest six risks creating a three-tiered system that could work only if there is constructive differentiation. The important question is how the process of expansion is managed and the associated political agenda.
Sociology lecturer

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