Higher education has not tended to feature strongly in the undergraduate Education Studies curriculum. There has perhaps been an over-emphasis on 3-16 schooling and the learning and development of children and young people. I have always found this strange in that we are all teaching and/or learning in institutions of higher education, so that we can easily access first-hand examples of theory and practice.
Universities certainly make for interesting reading and this book makes a strong case for including them in our courses for students. The first thing to note about the recent history of higher education in England is that, unlike every other public sector including health, schooling and social services, it has not suffered the effects of the economic austerity policies of the Conservative and LibDem Coalition governments. Such policies were supposedly justified by the international banking crisis of 2008 with the ambition of reducing the nation’s annual deficit. In contrast, following the Browne Report (2010) and the introduction in 2010 of annual student fees of £9,000, most universities have been, if not awash with cash, very comfortably placed financially. As the high fees built up over the years, universities have expanded in student numbers and resources. Almost any city you visit boasts spanking new academic buildings and towering student accommodation blocks.