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17 March 2011
... of universities, which are precisely the sort of extra-state, autonomous institution that it is supposed to be freeing from the shackles of regulation. The Higher Education Council proposed by LordBrowne in last October’s review would be able to define and enforce standards; fund particular courses and shape what is taught in them; specify teaching hours; take over or shut down institutions it ...

Browne’s Gamble

Stefan Collini: The Future of the Universities

4 November 2010
Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education: An Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance 
by Lord Browne et al.
62 pp., October 2010
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... Much of the initial response to the Browne Report seems to have missed the point. Its proposals have been discussed almost entirely in terms of ‘a rise in fees’. Analysis has largely concentrated on the amount graduates might pay and on ...

They rudely stare about

Tobias Gregory: Thomas Browne

4 July 2013
‘Religio Medici’ and ‘Urne-Buriall’ 
by Thomas Browne, edited by Stephen Greenblatt and Ramie Targoff.
NYRB, 170 pp., £7.99, September 2012, 978 1 59017 488 3
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... had a large market for books dealing with such matters. Most of them were produced by ministers or theologians, but one of the most enduringly popular was written in 1635 by a physician, Thomas Browne. Browne was thirty years old. He had lately returned to England after several years studying medicine on the Continent, and was serving a medical apprenticeship in Halifax. There, in his spare time ...

Persons Aggrieved

Stephen Sedley

22 May 1997
... magnificent decision – portrayed in paintings and engravings of the grateful slave Somersett having the shackles struck from him as his ermine-clad deliverer pronounces judgment from on high – Lord Mansfield proclaimed: ‘The air of England is too pure for a slave to breathe. Let the black go free.’ The truth, as usual, is less dramatic but more instructive. English law, which recognised and ...

From Robbins to McKinsey

Stefan Collini: The Dismantling of the Universities

25 August 2011
Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System 
Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, £79, June 2011, 978 0 10 181222 1Show More
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... by the independent committee, set up in 2009 with cross-party agreement, to review the effect of the 2006 fees and to come up with a sustainable form of future funding for higher education. LordBrowne, a businessman with no particular experience of teaching or working in a university, was chosen to chair the seven-person committee, whose members included the head of McKinsey’s Global Education ...

History of a Dog’s Dinner

Keith Ewing and Conor Gearty

6 February 1997
... from the hapless messengers (said to be ‘as much responsible as their superiors’) for the trespass to his property. In giving one of the great judgments in the history of English jurisprudence, Lord Camden expressed alarm at the idea that ‘the secret cabinets and bureaus of every subject in this kingdom’ could be ‘thrown open to the search and inspection of a messenger, whenever the ...

No More Victors’ Justice?

Stephen Sedley: On Trying War Crimes

2 January 2003
... international warrant issued by the central criminal court in Madrid, on charges of murder committed between 1973 and 1983, and of torture between 1988 and 1992. A divisional court presided over by Lord Bingham has quashed both warrants on the ground that as a former head of state Pinochet is by statute immune from prosecution, but has stayed the quashing of the second – the torture warrant – in ...

The German Ocean

D.J. Enright: Suffolk Blues

17 September 1998
The Rings of Saturn 
by W.G. Sebald, translated by Michael Hulse.
Harvill, 296 pp., £15.99, June 1998, 1 86046 398 3
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... birds, a perfect, fluting sound, part celestial and part the song of sirens.’ Sebald, Professor of Modern German Literature at the University of East Anglia, had read that the skull of Sir Thomas Browne, antiquary, lover of mysteries, connoisseur of odds and ends, was kept in the museum of that same hospital. He failed to find it, or the museum, and it turned out that the skull had subsequently been ...

The Right to Know

Stephen Sedley: Freedom of information

10 August 2000
... part of the jurisprudence of the First Amendment: ‘The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.’ Holmes’s dictum is cited by Lord Steyn in a significant recent decision on prisoners’ rights as the third of four reasons for placing a high value on freedom of speech. The first is that freedom of speech is important for its own ...

Cash Today

Andrew McGettigan: Who profits from student loans?

5 March 2015
... just before the 2010 election, Labour put out a tender for a feasibility study on ‘alternative routes to market’. This was meant to run alongside the review of undergraduate funding chaired by LordBrowne, whose report is seen as having ushered in the coalition’s funding revolution. Although Browne considered recommending a graduate tax, his review came down in favour of extending the loan ...

I have written as I rode

Adam Smyth: ‘Brief Lives’

7 October 2015
‘Brief Lives’ with ‘An Apparatus for the Lives of Our English Mathematical Writers’ 
by John Aubrey, edited by Kate Bennett.
Oxford, 1968 pp., £250, March 2015, 978 0 19 968953 8
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John Aubrey: My Own Life 
by Ruth Scurr.
Chatto, 518 pp., £25, March 2015, 978 0 7011 7907 6
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... A friend​ who teaches in New York told me that the historian Peter Lake told him that J.G.A. Pocock told him that Conrad Russell told him that Bertrand Russell told him that Lord John Russell told him that his father the sixth Duke of Bedford told him that he had heard William Pitt the Younger speak in Parliament during the Napoleonic Wars, and that Pitt had this curious way ...

Above it all

Stephen Sedley

7 April 1994
Suing Judges: A Study of Judicial Immunity 
by Abimbola Olowofoyeku.
Oxford, 234 pp., £27.50, December 1993, 0 19 825793 7
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The Independence of the Judiciary: The View from the Lord​ Chancellor’s Office 
by Robert Stevens.
Oxford, 221 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 19 825815 1
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... For some reason the Mansion House was not struck by a thunderbolt on the night in 1936 when the Chief Justice, Lord Hewart, told the guests at the Lord Mayor’s Dinner: ‘His Majesty’s Judges are satisfied with the almost universal admiration in which they are held.’ Or, for that matter, on the same occasion in 1953 when the Lord Mayor told ...

Half a pirate

Patrick O’Brian

22 January 1987
Captain Kidd and the War against the Pirates 
by Robert Ritchie.
Harvard, 306 pp., £16.95, November 1986, 0 674 09501 4
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Richard Knight’s Treasure! The True Story of his Extraordinary Quest for Captain Kidd’s Cache 
by Glenys Roberts.
Viking, 198 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 670 80761 3
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... might have to cease. It was not surprising, therefore, that Bellomont was able to induce several of the most important members of the reigning Whig Junto – the Duke of Shrewsbury, Sir John Somers, Lord-Keeper of the Great Seal and soon to be Lord High Chancellor, Lord Romney, Sir Edward Russell the First Lord of the Admiralty, and some others – to join him in a scheme by which Kidd was to be sent ...

An English Vice

Bernard Bergonzi

21 February 1985
The Turning Key: Autobiography and the Subjective Impulse since 1800 
by Jerome Hamilton Buckley.
Harvard, 191 pp., £12.75, April 1984, 0 674 91330 2
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The Art of Autobiography in 19th and 20th-Century England 
by A.O.J. Cockshut.
Yale, 222 pp., £10.95, September 1984, 0 300 03235 8
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... further, in complementary studies of developments since 1800. After a brief backward glance to St Augustine and 17th-century writers of spiritual self-examination like Bunyan and Sir Thomas Browne, Buckley focuses on the Romantic emergence of what he calls the ‘subjective impulse’, with Rousseau and Wordsworth as the founders of autobiography as we know it, where the interest is in the ...
9 March 1995
... Secretary Tom King, the finally jettisoned Kenneth Baker, and the former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Brooke each receiving £8049 of public money to assuage their sense of political failure. Lord Waddington stood down as Leader of the House of Lords at the same time, for which he received £12,639, plus (shortly afterwards) the Governorship of Bermuda, at a salary of £63,000 per annum. David ...

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