Why is there a prejudice against private universities?

Since he announced his intention to found the New College of the Humanities, AC Grayling has faced ferocious criticism from those who say it will be elitist and a threat to the principle of publicly funded higher education. Here, he defends his controversial project

David Willetts: 'We must radically rethink the way we see higher education'

It is a year to the day since David Willetts first took up his post as Universities Minister. Since then, he has had to endure his fair share of heckling from students opposed to his plans for raising tuition fees to up to £9,000 a year, engage in a battle to get his fees proposals through the Commons and spent hours burning the midnight oil on a White Paper on the future of higher education – which should see the light of day later this summer.

Glasgow University could scrap language courses because of budget cuts

Can Britain afford to deprive its students of the linguistic skills that would make them internationally competitive?

Chalk Talk: Why private students aren't the way to ease the fees pain

A salutary message comes from the US for ministers pinning their hopes on the private sector bailing them out of their current dilemma over student fees. The plot so far: ministers are anxious to encourage more private sector provision of degree courses, to pressurise existing universities to lower their proposed fee charges for next year. To that end, they have already held meetings with representatives of the BPP University College of Professional Studies. The idea is to offer private students loans, just as would be the case for students at state-financed universities.

Why social mobility should start at school

Higher university fees and the end of the EMA grant were already deterring poorer teenagers from continuing their education. Now the English Baccalaureate could be the final straw, argues John Dunford

Which candidate can unite the National Union of Students's warring factions?

After a winter of fees protests, all eyes will be on the election of the next president

The appliance of science: The teenager who took a stand against animal rights protesters

Five years on, Jonathan Brown catches up with Laurie Pycroft at Oxford, where his key battles were fought

'Webinar' method of learning could change the university experience for ever

Through your headphones it sounds like you're hearing the world think. Disembodied voices with accents spanning continents discuss with the intimacy of a late-night radio talk show each crystal-clear photograph that slides across the screens of our laptops on opposite sides of the world.

A life of debt begins here: Will student's money worries ever end?

Once they have graduated, the students of tomorrow face a bleak financial future: tuition fee repayments, a grim jobs market, outrageous house prices and ageing, needy parents. Will their money worries ever end? Amol Rajan does the sums

American liberal arts colleges: Where art meets science

In 1959, the British scientist and novelist CP Snow warned of a divide between scientists and "literary intellectuals". He explained that few of his friends and colleagues had both read one of Shakespeare's plays and could explain the second law of thermodynamics. The British education system, he argued, forced children to specialise at too early an age, pushing them towards either the arts or science and industry. More than half a century later, how much has changed?

Going the distance: Why online learning is gaining ground

Some students never set foot in a lecture theatre. They never pace the library aisles, queue for a computer or struggle to get their voices heard at a seminar. In fact, some students manage to complete their degrees without so much as leaving their homes – and, according to Julie Stone, business development manager at the University of Derby, they are among the most dedicated. "Learning online requires commitment," she says. "When we started developing online programmes, in 2001, it was a marginal activity because there simply weren't the students." That changed in 2008, when applications suddenly flooded in – there are now about 1,500 online students on Derby's books. "We anticipate significant growth over the next five years," says Stone. "We're investing in online education as a core part of our business."

Chalk Talk: Universities can charge what they like – just as long as it's not too much

Is it just me, or is there not something Kafkaesque about the Coalition Government's proposals for raising tuition fees? It starts off with the Government telling universities they can raise their student fees to a maximum of £9,000 a year.

The University debate: There's more than one way to learn

Going up to Oxford taught the novelist Philip Hensher life's possibilities. Going straight into employment gave the entrepreneur Simon Dolan a head start at work. So who had the advantage?

The University Debate: What the Ivy League can teach Britain

High costs are an accepted part of college education in the US – and they pay for world-class teaching. Dr Terence Kealey, vice-chancellor of Britain's only private university, argues that it's time we followed America's example

The University Debate: We must not open the doors to all

Why are we trying to create quotas for access to higher education via political meddling, asks Dominic Lawson. In the second part of our debate, he argues that while it may not be malicious, it is stupid
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