Helmets off! Remove your live ammunition from the chamber, disassemble the barricades; run the flag of the public universities up the pole – deregulation has surrendered!
Murmurings last week that the new education minister Simon Birmingham was considering a modified fee deregulation model did not materialise in the budget papers. Rather than concrete policy, the budget includes an ‘options paper’, Driving Innovation, Fairness and Excellence in Higher Education, an entirely dull collection of words that appears to restore Higher Education policy to tinkering and empty rhetoric. Birmingham’s vision (his word) is of ‘a system in which universities are able to reflect and respond to the demands of students and employers and to leverage their research strengths to position themselves in a global context’. (A human being actually wrote that…)