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Biggest shake up in higher education for 35 years

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 02 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:269
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. BMJ

    Sir Ron Dearing's report into the future of higher education has called for a radical overhaul of the structure and funding of the university system, including improvements in the quality of teaching, a massive expansion in the number of students (particularly among lower socioeconomic groups), and, more controversially, contributions by students towards tuition fees.

    Sir Ron, chairman of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education, said: “We see the future of the United Kingdom and the competitiveness of the UK economy as necessitating the creation of a learning society committed to learning throughout working life. This means our higher education has to be world class in terms of effectiveness, relevance, and quality.”

    The 1700 page report, Higher Education in the Learning Society, calls for the historic boundaries between academic and vocational education to be broken down. It says that there should continue to be institutions of world renown, with other institutions supporting regional or local needs. Some institutions would be research oriented …

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