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October 15, 2010

Warwick Week – Fairness, The Browne Review, Government Spending and 100 Objects

Warwick in the News

What is Fairness?
What is a fair world? What does it mean to be fair? This week, Radio 4 have been exploring the topic of “fairness” and on Monday, Dr Angie Hobbs, Senior Fellow in the Public Understanding of Philosophy considered the concept of “fairness” and what it means.

It rests on the assumption that each person matters in themselves and is more than a number. To put it formally, persons are separate bearers of human dignity and rights so any distributions, transactions or cuts that disregard the dignity and rights of the individual will therefore, not be fair.

Listen again to Dr Angie Hobbs >> (1:14.09)

Vice-Chancellor comments on the Browne Review
Tuesday saw the publication of Lord Browne’s review on university funding in England. The review recommends a significant increase in the cap on the undergraduate student fees and changes to the pattern of interest rate charges on student loans. Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift commented:

...there is much yet that has to be resolved before we can be sure of the full implications of this review for Warwick or any other English university. The report will be debated and considered by both government and parliament before any of its recommendations are adopted, amended or even set aside. We also await the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR)  which will have a significant impact on the consequences of the Browne review if, as is expected, it includes a significant cut to University funding.

Read the Vice-Chancellor's comments in full >>

Government spending and GDP
Prof Lord Robert Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy (Department of Economics) was on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday discussing government spending and GDP with Jonathan Freedland. The programme compared the present public spending review with the 'Geddes Axe' of 1921-22.
Listen again >>

Mario Vargas Llosa wins Nobel Prize for Literature
Honorary Graduate Mario Vargas Llosa has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The award was given "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat."
Find out more about Mario Vargas >>

A History of the World in 100 Objects
Vice-Chancellor Prof Nigel Thrift appeared on Radio 4’s “History of the World in 100 Objects” on Tuesday discussing the marine chronometer that accompanied Darwin to South America and its role in measuring time and geography.
Listen again >>
(07:27)

Linda Norgrove
The University was saddened to hear the news reports last weekend on the death of WBS student Linda Norgrove. She had almost completed her WBS Distance Learning MBA, and had been serving as an aid worker in Afghanistan. She was taken as a hostage in September and was killed in the course of a rescue attempt on Friday 8 October.
Read more about Linda Norgrove >>

Comment

Higher Education: Who Else Should Pay? Mark Harrison

The Browne report, Securing a sustainable future for higher education in England, says higher education should be paid for by those that benefit from it: our graduates. It also says they should pay later, in easy instalments, and only when they can clearly afford it, with all risk transferred to the government and universities.

It looks to me like a no-brainer ... Yet lots of people are showing signs of moral outrage.
A question the critics seldom address is: Who else should pay for my degree?
The taxpayer is usually implied. But here's the problem: tax-financed higher education involves a lot of poor-to-rich redistribution.

Read more on Professor Mark Harrison’s Blog >>


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