Higher Education - Past, Present and Future with Sir Michael Barber, Chair, Office for Students
From Jeanette Peat
On Thursday 4 October we were delighted to welcome to the University, Sir Michael Barber, Chair at the Office of Students, to talk about higher education – past, present and future. Sir Michael spoke about H.A.L Fisher and the 1918 Education Act, 2018 marked 100 years since the act was established. Sir Michael discussed the main features of the Act and how far the system has come along since 1918, he stated ‘we’ve learnt a lot from Fisher, that legislation is not enough, we need to invest’. Sir Michael’s outlook was overall very positive, complimenting universities as places that stand for truth - they have moved away from being an elite system to a mass system, without losing equality.
Sir Michael was later joined by Shakira Martin, President at NUS, Harry Anderson, Policy Advisor at CBI and the Rt Hon the Lord Blunkett for a panel debate and discussion on higher education, chaired by Professor Marie Kinsey from the Department of Journalism Studies. Questions were taken from the audience, exploring themes such as the biggest challenges to higher education, teaching excellence and the value and quality of degrees.
The evening was closed by Professor Wyn Morgan, who stressed the challenges and opportunities that higher education faces at the moment. He praised the panel for offering their views and sharing their passion.