BIRTH OF THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY: The impact of the First World War on British higher education
- 30 Mar 2016
A meeting of senior government ministers and representatives of all British and Irish universities in November 1918 confirmed a new vision for higher education: the public university was born, increasingly dependent on public funding and focused on meeting public requirements for a skilled workforce and research of value to the economy and wider society.
That is the central finding of research by Professor John Taylor, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge. Based on detailed analysis of government papers and the archives of many British universities, his study traces the changes in funding arrangements for higher education and changing attitudes towards higher education in the course of the First World War.