‘In Scotland, we perhaps put too much emphasis on formal, externally assessed exams – and is it really necessary for students to take them every year for the whole three years of the senior phase?’
Wonk of the year Lucy: ‘The signs are that the wrong people are being made to pay for current higher education policy in Scotland, in skewed debt or lost support, restricted opportunities and squeezed funding overall. As far as I can recall, no-one in Scottish university senior management has ever argued with me about this in public, nor got in touch to tell me privately that they disagree’.
‘This deep, dark watery grave is the only symbol of the city’s sharp industrial decline that we can’t privatise, close down or demolish. It’s the only thing we can’t wash our hands of or blame on the Tories’. Loki on suicide, work, masculinity – and feeling terrified.
‘Most access initiatives target the people identified as disadvantaged. We remain less comfortable curtailing the effects of privilege.’
Young people responded in what seems unprecedented numbers to Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign but will a hung parliament curb their enthusiasm? Gemma Baird outlines three options for keeping young people engaged with special responsibility for academics.
“The Scottish system is not debt-free in the absence of fees: indeed Scottish students are borrowing a substantial amount as a group each year. The Scottish approach relies heavily on loans to cover the state’s role in providing low-income students, in particular, with living cost support. Grants are now so low that those from the lowest incomes are taking on the most of that living cost debt.”
“there is no realistic chance that the Scottish Government is going to reduce its reliance on student loans to underwrite the higher education system. £500m is roughly the annual cost of the whole FE system, or 1p on the basic rate of income tax” Scotland’s leading expert on another model – and more – of funding HE.
Professor Emer Smyth,from the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, on the widespread, but little studied, issue of the underperformance of boys at all stages of education from pre-school to first degree. What are the causes and what can be done?
“It is a compelling argument for an independent Scotland in the EU that it would mean Scots free to work and trade across Europe and the many amazing Europeans who choose to live and contribute here could do so with confidence.” Jackie Kemp on why she’s switched to Yes
“There are teachers in the playground but bullying usually gets taken to the classroom teacher and they don’t always deal with it. Teachers think their job is to educate children but they should realise it is also to support children and to help them when they are finding things difficult.”