Panel Discussion chaired by Prof. John Diamond

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Professor John Diamond outlined how the thought provoking discussions of the keynote speakers had worked through the scales of resolution from Kathleen’s global perspective through Mary’s national perspective to Stuart’s local perspective of individual organisations.  The wide variety of questions and observations that the discussions had sparked included: how academics veered from extreme passion and interest in what they were doing in widening participation to the depths of despair that bureaucracy, infrastructure and league tables can engender.  There were passionate debates on what kinds of institutions UK universities are – public or private or a combination of both – and the various issues that arise from introducing a commercial element, whether partially or wholy and the impacts this has on widening participation and how it can undermine democracy.  Delegates from other European countries also discussed how their models of tertiary provision compared and differed to the UK model.

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