Oxford blues

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The Independent Online

Oxford University's plan to reduce its intake of UK students tells us something important about our top universities. The increasing numbers going into higher education are making it difficult for institutions like Oxford to balance their books. Elite universities have decided that, in these circumstances, they have no choice but to take more foreign students, who pay full fees. The only solution is to hasten the introduction of a market into the provision of higher education. Students' fees should be strongly linked to the education they receive. Only then will our universities be able to provide the service we expect from them.

Oxford University's plan to reduce its intake of UK students tells us something important about our top universities. The increasing numbers going into higher education are making it difficult for institutions like Oxford to balance their books. Elite universities have decided that, in these circumstances, they have no choice but to take more foreign students, who pay full fees. The only solution is to hasten the introduction of a market into the provision of higher education. Students' fees should be strongly linked to the education they receive. Only then will our universities be able to provide the service we expect from them.

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