Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Week in Higher Education

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Week in Higher Education

Article excerpt

- Just as Prince Andrew was suggesting that universities do not prepare people for work - telling The Daily Telegraph on 31 December that higher education should be just "the icing on the cake" - Prince William was preparing for a vocational course at ... university. Prince William started a 10-week "bespoke" course in agricultural management at the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership on 7 January, after a personal tour of St John's College from dignitaries including Cambridge vice-chancellor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. It is to help prepare him for running the Duchy of Cornwall, the private estate that is held by, and funds, each Prince of Wales. Cynics objected that Prince William had somehow bought special admission to the University of Cambridge, but the CPSL routinely designs bespoke courses for clients. In any case, if Prince William has to learn to run an institution that has wielded power since medieval times thanks to its vast land, property and investment wealth, Cambridge is the place to do it.

- The honour for higher education letter of the week goes to Geoffrey Wyborn of Walton-on-Thames, whose missive lamenting the disappearance of the college scarf ran in The Daily Telegraph on 31 December. "About 50 years ago it was common to see young people during the holidays, especially at Christmas time, wearing their college scarves, more often than not with a duffel coat," he wrote wistfully. "Yet there seem to be fewer scarves on show now than then. Why?" Compounding his bewilderment was the vast expansion of higher education since 1960. Clearly the Robbins report overlooked the effect on college scarf-wearing of opening higher education to the great unwashed.

- The notion that the First World War was a "misbegotten shambles" is a myth perpetuated by "left-wing academics", according to Michael Gove, executing his own Schlieffen Plan to win a culture war over this year's centenary. Writing in the Daily Mail on 3 January, the education secretary likened University of Cambridge historian Sir Richard Evans to an "undergraduate cynic" in his take on the war, and argued that it was "plainly a just war". Tristram Hunt, Labour's shadow education secretary - and a historian to boot - boomed back in The Observer on 5 January, accusing Mr Gove of trying to "rewrite the historical record and sow political division". …

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