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We need to talk about Gavin

Universities need friends in government, but who will speak for them now?

These are dangerous times for universities in England, with the Treasury gunning for cuts in public spending and culture warriors looking for easy targets. The next few months could decisively shape the way higher education interacts with this government.

However, universities in England, far from having a productive conversation with the government at a crucial time, seem to be in political stasis, waiting for a new education secretary. The settled view of the vice-chancellors attending Universities UK’s conference last week was that Gavin Williamson was “a dead man walking”.

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