United Kingdom: Universities Feel the Heat of Competition

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Science  02 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5249, pp. 688
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5249.688


London—Britain's system of higher education has gone through perhaps the most radical changes of any in Europe in the past few years. The government promoted an entire tier of colleges to university status and changed funding systems to reward universities for attracting—and retaining—students. This has promoted competition among universities for both teaching and research funding, while increasing school leavers’ access to university education. But it has also increased the pressures on universities at a time when funding has not kept pace with the growth in student numbers.