Bit of a weak claim really

Universities will be just as crucial to the nation’s economic and social recovery from the pandemic. A new report by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) is predicting that thousands of jobs, new businesses, and prosperity will be created across the UK through universities collaborating with employers and public services.

Over the next five years, it is forecast that universities will provide more than £11 billion worth of support and services to small enterprises, businesses, and not-for-profit organisations.

How cool.

Except, umm, the universities cost us £4 billion a year. Or £20 billion over the 5.

We’d be £9 billion better off if we didn’t pay the greivance studies folks at all and instead spent the money directly on the services to small enterprises, businesses, and not-for-profit organisations.

16 thoughts on “Bit of a weak claim really”

  1. “if we didn’t pay the greivance studies folks at all”
    I wonder whether there’s some votes in that proposal? On the face of it you’d think so, but then chesterton’s fence, why pay for it in the first place?

  2. Maybe you’re slightly misreading the article a bit? The claim is that the £11bn will be realised as direct support to employers (Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and all that guff) – to my mind that would not include the benefits generated/enjoyed by newly-minted graduates wandering into the big wide world by themselves. Maybe I’m the one misreading, but I don’t think so.

    Perhaps that still doesn’t amount to a hill of beans and maybe the point still stands when all the University benefits are stacked up against £4bn per year, but in here we do like to compare eggs with eggs, don’t we?

  3. Think of how much value will be generated when we convert universities into all-Sheba-can-eat LION ENCLOSURES

  4. Ducky McDuckface

    Good grief, you want me to actually read stuff? Sun’s not even over the yardarm yet.

  5. From (bitter) experience, I reckon that “small enterprises, businesses..” would be far better off if government in all its forms were simply to leave them well alone. Government “help” is nearly always anything but!

  6. Just scrap useless courses [grievance studies, journalism (better learnt on provincial evenings/weeklies), etc], limit history of art and similar to those willing to pay the full cost of the course, limit sports management to one course taking twenty-odd per year in the whole system as the good graduates from that will supply all the sports management we need …
    Replace them with apprenticeships in plumbing (without the Poles we’ll be short of plumbers).
    That will reduce costs of Uni to less than value.

  7. Hallowed Be,

    “I wonder whether there’s some votes in that proposal? On the face of it you’d think so, but then chesterton’s fence, why pay for it in the first place?”

    I think we’re coming to the end of the All Must Have Degrees experiment. The idea, that by getting half the population to university and boost skills has been a failure. We didn’t get more engineers and programmers, we got more people with psychology degrees that no-one cares about. Those people flipping burgers with history degrees aren’t going to tell younger people how good it is.

    Maybe we’ll get back to the 10-20% of people going to university, as it should be.

  8. Bliar wanted the Uni boost to finish off the Marxist indoctrination started in state schools. John 77 has it about right apart from the needed Purge of all Uni/school hier and staff to roust all leftists.

  9. BoM4- “The idea, that by getting half the population to university and boost skills has been a failure” – i reckon so too, but if i’m honest i don’t actually know. Definitely lots of failures but possibly lots of successes too, dunno. But having said that there’s a pretty good indicator in the percent who make enough to pay back the loans so yes they could drop off the worst 2 courses every year by that metric (and be sure not to add any). You could do that and so long as you’re prepared for ecclesiastical history of the 13th Century to be struck off along with other more odourous subjects you could possibly avoid a lot of culture war argie bargie.

  10. “We’d be £9 billion better off if we didn’t pay the greivance studies folks at all and instead spent the money directly on the services to small enterprises, businesses, and not-for-profit organisations. on actual science.”

    ftfy.

  11. Who says govt has to interfere with universities? What makes this case one where the free market should not apply? Stop giving them money. Don’t give them the right to confer a degree (this is the thing of value which they absolutely need) if they don’t act in the interest of the nation. That’s all. It will sort itself out.

  12. Hallowed Be,

    “BoM4- “The idea, that by getting half the population to university and boost skills has been a failure” – i reckon so too, but if i’m honest i don’t actually know. Definitely lots of failures but possibly lots of successes too, dunno. ”

    I’m not saying that we haven’t had an increase in say, biomed graduates, but we’ve had a far bigger increase in people doing psychology (which is worthless in terms of demand). Much of the increase in degrees just led to grade inflation.

    And we should have *less* people going to university than we did 30 years ago because it’s so much easier to acquire knowledge via the internet and Amazon.

  13. BoM4 “Maybe we’ll get back to the 10-20% of people going to university, as it should be.”

    Too many, before the expansion of the ’60s it was about 5%.

  14. Dear Mr Worstall

    What breathless drivel, bigging up the next Five Year Plan and tractor stats. to make up for the trashing of the entire small business economy by that Mr *hitty, Sir Vallance Bedspread and lots of non-medics locking up the British public in their own homes while getting huge retainers for doing so, and posing around on telly and doubtless get lordships, sirhoods, gongs and noble pease prizes all round, under the pretext of Saving Us All™ from the dreaded wuhwhoflu (© 2019 CCP).

    How does this Five Year Plan compare with the last?

    DP

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