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  • From the archive: The formation of the Open University, 1970 September 15, 2019
    How we greeted the arrival of ‘do-it-yourself degrees’It’s been 50 years since the formation of the Open University, now one of the largest universities in Europe. The Observer Magazine of 15 November 1970 looked ahead to the start of operations in January 1971 when ‘25,000 ordinary men and women’ were about to realise ‘the promise […]
    Chris Hall
  • Academics are fighting the wrong battle over pensions September 14, 2019
    Retirement benefits are indeed declining, and funds are in deficit. But those on zero-hour jobs at universities have it worseBritain’s university sector is a jewel in the nation’s crown. It is a world leader in research, generates £20bn in export revenues and is credited with playing a big part in raising the productivity of the […]
    Phillip Inman
  • How MIT was complicit in allowing Jeffrey Epstein to launder his reputation | John Naughton September 14, 2019
    The financier’s links to the institution are symptoms of a deep malaise in big techIn the parallel moral universe known as the tech industry, the MIT media lab was Valhalla. “The engineers, designers, scientists and physicians who constitute the two dozen research groups housed there,” burbled the Atlantic in a profile of what it called […]
    John Naughton
  • Jeffrey Epstein donated $9m to Harvard before 2008 guilty plea, says university September 13, 2019
    University rejected proposed gift after his convictionLargest gift was $6.5m for Program for Evolutionary DynamicsHarvard University received nearly $9m in donations from the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein before his 2008 guilty plea to sex charges, but rejected a proposed gift after his conviction, according to the institution’s president, Lawrence Bacow. Related: President of MIT […]
    Edward Helmore
  • Never mind ‘tax raids’, Labour – just abolish private education | Owen Jones September 13, 2019
    As drivers of inequality, private schools are at the heart of Britain’s problems. Labour must be bold and radical on thisThe British class system is an organised racket. It concentrates wealth and power in the hands of the few, while 14 million Britons languish in poverty.If you are dim but have rich parents, a life […]
    Owen Jones
  • Michael Morpurgo on fighting Brexit: 'I've been spat at. It's almost civil war' September 13, 2019
    The world’s getting nastier, says the writer, and Britain no longer cares. So he’s hitting back – with a Gulliver’s Travels update that targets Trump, Brexit and the refugee crisisMichael Morpurgo has all the trappings befitting a prolific, bestselling and beloved children’s author. There is the National Theatre production (War Horse, still touring the globe) […]
    Etan Smallman
  • 'In God We Trust': display in Kentucky schools marks effort to mix church and state September 13, 2019
    The law now requires the words to appear in schools as conservative Christian groups seek to inject religion into public lifeWhen students returned to Kentucky public schools last month after summer vacation, they may have noticed something different: the words “In God We Trust” displayed in a prominent location in their school, as is now […]
    Josh Wood in Louisville, Kentucky
  • The Guardian view on a children’s manifesto: families need more from ministers | Editorial September 12, 2019
    Opening schools at weekends for sports activities is one of a list of demands to which politicians should pay attentionChildren, says the government-appointed commissioner charged with representing their interests in England, lack a voice in politics. As a result, their interests are too often “subjugated to the interests of others”, or lost down the cracks […]
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