The benefits of a university education


A University Education. By David Willetts. Oxford University Press; 432 pages; $32.50 and £25.

IN 1945 there were 500 universities across the globe. Today there are more than 10,000. As universities continue to displace apprenticeships and the armed forces as the main path to adulthood in the rich world, scrutiny of higher education has increased. In England critics see universities as hotbeds of anti-Brexit provocation and places where censorious students stifle debate. Complaints about hefty fees and lacklustre teaching are common.

David Willetts, Britain’s higher education minister in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition and now a Tory peer, argues against those who say the answer is to turn the clock back by cutting student numbers. “A University Education” is not the mix of gossip and post hoc justification normally churned out by former ministers. Instead, Lord Willetts provides something…Continue reading

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