The great and good launch campaign to call for increased university autonomy

A group of 65 of the UK’s thinkers, from scientists to authors, have joined forces to launch the Council for the Defence of British Universities, which will campaign for autonomy for universities to allow them to pursue research ‘without regard to its immediate benefit’. The organisation believes that ‘misguided policies’ are rapidly undermining UK universities and describes itself as an organisation dedicated to defending academic values.

The group claims that the Browne Review, the 2010 assessment of university funding and student finance, began reforms ‘designed to change its character fundamentally, permanently and virtually overnight’ and has set itself up to counter this. The founding members include David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins, Martin Rees and Colin Blakemore and the group are now working on expanding their numbers and promoting their agenda.