Vice-Chancellor discusses ‘the business of education’


Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Howard Newby

Earlier this week, Vice-Chancellor, Sir Professor Howard Newby took part in a panel debate about education on BBC Radio 4’s The Bottom Line, hosted by Evan Davis.

Sir Howard was one of three special guests who were invited to discuss ‘The business of education’ on the radio talk show. Other guests included Carl Lygo, Chief Executive of BPP; and Professor James Tooley, Chairman of Omega Schools, who run low-cost private schools in Ghana.

The panel considered the ethics of running a business in education, and shared their views on how to build a reputation, and the link between student’s perceptions of quality and the price of education.

Global branding

Sir Howard spoke of the institution’s experience of providing higher education at XJTLU in China, and of his vision for further expansion of the University’s global brand. Discussing plans for expansion in London and Asia, he recognised the importance of the higher education regulatory system “as a key factor” in the decision about whether to move into a new market.

Speaking on the changes in higher education and the importance of engagement, he said :”In the 21st century, the public universities are still crawling out from underneath this ivory tower model of universities that need to be separated from vulgar realities of real world, and that’s all gone now. In a knowledge economy, it’s absolutely vital than universities engage with the wider society and economy.”

The panel also talked about the challenges of taking on traditional, public institutions as well as the technological advances that look set to transform learning over the next 20 years.

Talking about the digital revolution and how it might change the sector, Sir Howard asserted his view that academics have a vital role to play in “taking students to the leading edge of their subject and inspiring them.”

Listen to the full programme.

Vice-Chancellor from AR

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