Labour would end free market in higher education, says Rayner

A Labour government would end the “failed free-market experiment in higher education”, taking a tougher line on vice-chancellors’ pay and improving academic diversity, the shadow education secretary is set to announce. The Guardian reports.

Angela Rayner will outline a series of major policy steps that would allow regulators to intervene in how universities in England are run, including how they recruit and reward staff.

Speaking to the University and College Union (UCU) conference on Saturday, Rayner said : “The Tories’ obsession with free-market dogma has gone too far. Education is a public good and should be treated as such. Our universities are there for all of us.”

Rayner will also unveil a new policy to improve the ethnic diversity of staff in higher education, with the reformed regulator given specific powers to address inequality as part of Labour’s plans for a national education service.

“Women and staff from ethnic minority backgrounds are chronically under-represented across these institutions, and in particular at the most senior levels.

“Universities must do much more, and under Labour they will be held to account.”

The regulator would be required to enforce a commitment to a 20:1 pay ratio between the highest and lowest paid members of staff in universities, while vice-chancellors would be barred from sitting on the committees that set their pay.

In the past year a number of universities have announced multi-million pound deficits and are having to cut budgets and staff as a result of the cut-throat competition for students.

“These are not profit-making private companies that can simply be left at the mercy of market forces. Ministers cannot simply bury their heads in the sand when we’re faced with losing some of these vital institutions,” Rayner said.

Read the full article Labour would end free market in higher education, says Rayner

Please read the full article Labour would end free market in higher education, says Rayner

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