Mike B

Regarding link #2 it seems that the UK is seeing the same problems as California when the system of higher education hitches its wagons to the engine of state financing. With virtually no private Universities the UK tries to use its system as a way to promote a vision of merit based, affordable, egalitarian education to its entire population. Problem is that egalitarian doesn't mean good, just equal. In lean times such as these the sinking tide now threatens to lower all boats. With a core of privately funded institutions scientific research could have been maintained through a combination of endowment income and voluntary transfers from wealthy individuals. While those Universities would have wound up being more equal than others the gains of scientific knowledge know no class boundaries and would have power the economic engine for future growth.