Leading article: Firm up funding

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The Independent Online

The Government is putting pressure on universities to involve employers in the design and funding of degree courses. Although the exhortation is coming from the Department for Education and Skills, there is little doubt that the idea originates with the Treasury. Presumably Gordon Brown wants the large public investment in higher education more closely tied to the world of work. But are companies prepared to pay for courses tailored to their needs? Apart from one or two examples like Ernst & Young, the evidence is not encouraging. We hope the Treasury doesn't expect universities to subsidise the private sector.