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Oxford vice-chancellor challenges tuition fee cap

According to a recent article published by The Guardian, Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, suggested that the cap on tuition fees is not the best for the British higher education system.

“The idea of a market – and that is what is ostensibly being created – in which every item, virtually regardless of content and quality, is the same price seems, well, a little odd,” he said. “On the other hand, given the great diversity of the institutions in our higher education system, the notion of different universities charging significantly different amounts doesn’t feel inherently unnatural. It is the current situation that seems out of kilter.”

Regardless you agree or not with  this statement, it compels us to think higher education in a different way. From an economic point of view, is it instrinsically different from other markets? Does it require a special set of regulations? Is there a breaking point after which ‘affordability’ may start harming teaching and/or research quality?

Although there are no easy answers for these controversial questions, a voice coming from one of the top universities of the world is worth listening to.

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