Our speaker, Sir Anthony Seldon, is Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University and an accomplished author of books on recent British Prime Ministers.
British universities inhabit the same world of change and uncertainty as the rest of us and we were given an excellent overview of some of their current concerns: global competition, alternative routes to higher education, the increasing power of the “consumer” (i.e. the student), the shift to courses which will (hopefully) lead to a job, political correctness and, of course, money and the dreaded Brexit!
What of the future? Probably a much greater number of smaller universities, ranging from the high powered academic to the community based. Mission Statement: Life Long Learning For All! The traditional model would seem to be on the way out. Is Oxbridge to lose its dominance? (surely not!) Is the Russell Group to slim down (ditto!) One hopes that not everything old and traditional will be swept away!
Sixteen local Headteachers from the State and Independent sectors were invited to join us, but only one was able to be present – a salutary reminder of the demands on their time.
It was a great privilege to have Sir Anthony with us and very good of him to fit us into his extremely busy schedule: he left us to catch his flight to Hong Kong!
This story was submitted by the ESU Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes branch. Please click here for information on this branch and its upcoming events.