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News Editorial Other Voices Interview

A Massive Overhaul
England's universities are about to undergo the most dramatic restructuring since the 1960s

  In This Issue
 


(Photo By Rod Searcey)

Nicki Harrington, president of Yuba Community College, in northern California, expects to cut 15 percent of her operating budget as the state struggles with a $38 billion budget deficit.
( more)

News
A Massive Overhaul
England's universities are about to undergo the most dramatic restructuring since the 1960s

HOPE Springs Eternal
Georgia's scholarship program, a model for the nation, experiences financial pains

Volume Discounts
OhioLINK is a purchasing consortium, and a state-of-the-art library system

California Cuts to the Bone
Community colleges are hit hard as a result of state's record budget deficit

An Interview
Derek Bok

Other Voices
Creating an Effective Market
Higher education in the age of accountability

Unintended Consequences
In practice, tuition discounting programs are diminishing access for the students who are least able to afford college

   
 
By Jon Marcus
London

A rare blue sky hangs over Bloomsbury, but the neighborhood around the University of London is virtually deserted. From the student union comes the sound of cheers and jeers, which lead to a dark, smoke-filled bar where what seems like the entire student body is watching India play New Zealand in the cricket World Cup.

The ideas of Nicholas Barr, a professor at the London School of Economics, have influenced reorganization of British higher education.
(Photo By David Levenson, Black Star)
 

The match distracts them not only from the sunny day, but also from an invitation to discuss the most dramatic shake-up of England's universities since the 1960s. That's because it won't affect them. Student fees will nearly triple, faculty pay will switch to a system of performance-based rewards, and enrollments will increase. The very structure of university financing, teaching and research will be transformed.

But most of these changes won't take effect until the 2005-06 academic year. So for these particular undergraduates-not to mention much of the rest of the world-it is an issue that has gotten scant attention.

"My sister is going to be affected by it," said undergraduate Carolyn Finn, looking up from a magazine and considering the question for a minute. "I think it's ridiculous that for the same education she will have to pay many thousands of pounds more."

Many politicians, faculty and parents feel the same way. There is no shortage of dissent over the massive overhaul of England's universities. In fact, few people actually seem in favor of it. But the broader political fallout of this vast reorganization has been muted by the war in Iraq and other news. And the wholesale restructuring of English higher education has hurtled forward not only essentially unnoticed, but also largely unchecked. (continue)

 

HOPE Springs Eternal
Georgia's scholarship program, a model for the nation, experiences financial pains

 
   
By Don Campbell
Milledgeville, Georgia

Adrienne Paquin, a 20-year-old junior at Georgia College & State University here, hadn't even heard of this institution until about three years ago. Paquin, a physical education major, was attending high school in the Atlanta suburb of Douglasville, 100 miles away, and had her eye on Lee University in Tennessee, where her sister had spent her freshman year.

Then financial reality set in. Adrienne could borrow money to attend Lee, or she could take advantage of Georgia's HOPE scholarship, which would pay her tuition, mandatory fees and a book allowance if she went to college in Georgia.

Sisters Adrienne (left) and Michelle Paquin, shown with their mother Brenda, are attending Georgia public universities on HOPE scholarships.
(Photo By Robin Nelson, Black Star)

It was a no-brainer. "I decided to stay in the state; otherwise I'd have had to take out loans of about $40,000," she said during a recent interview while sitting in a rocking chair between the stately white columns of GC&SU's administration building. (continue)

 
     

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