Robbins Rebooted - Social Market Foundation

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How We Earn Our Way in the Second Machine Age

In this pamphlet, the Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, the Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, sets out options for reforming Britain's universities to boost the country's knowledge economy and open high paying technical and professional jobs to all.

Robbins Rebooted

Robbins Rebooted How We Earn Our Way in the Second Machine Age

Robbins Rebooted How We Earn Our Way in the Second Machine Age The Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

Robbins Rebooted How We Earn Our Way in the Second Machine Age

by The Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

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FIRST PUBLISHED BY The Social Market Foundation, August 2014 ISBN: 978-1-904899-95-2 11 Tufton Street, London SW1P 3QB Copyright © The Social Market Foundation, 2014 The moral right of the authors has been asserted. All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.

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About the Author




Chapter 1: A 1964 moment


Chapter 2: How we earn a living in the second machine age


Chapter 3: The Five Tests?


Chapter 4: Robbins Rebooted




End notes



FOREWORD Last October, we marked the 50th anniversary of the Robbins report on higher education by publishing an essay by David Willetts, then Minister for Universities and Science. Higher education has provided a leading example of reform in this Parliament, just as it did during the Blair years, and it remains a focus of attention. It is a sector where public and private funding combines, by design, and the role of public funding combined with regulation is to ensure that a group of basically private actors - the higher education institutions - meet public objectives. It is no wonder that a think tank like ours, interested in how market mechanisms can contribute to the pursuit of social justice, has always done a lot of work on higher education. In this pamphlet, Liam Byrne uses his own reading of Robbins to set out a vision for higher education. While Willetts focused on the Robbins themes of improving teaching quality and expanding higher education, Byrne predicts that the leading challenge for universities is supplying knowledge and higher level skills in “the second machine age.” Just as Robbins’ rep