DESPITE Labour’s promise that “education, education, education” would be its priority, when the then education minister, Charles Clarke, dismissed “the medieval concept of a community of scholars seeking truth” as “a bit dodgy” back in 2002, it became clear that the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake was judged as outmoded by our political masters.
The role of higher education has always been contested. But in recent times a war has been waged on its research remit. In the last ten years the purpose of the academy has been degraded. Universities have been turned into an instrument to improve the economy and create social cohesion. As a result, knowledge is compromised and students failed.