Programme for semester 1 (2018/19)

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10 October 2018, 12-1 pm (Conference room 2.15, Chrystal Macmillan Building)

Introduction of new members and planning for 2018/19


7 November 2018, 12-1 pm (Meeting Room 3, 311 Chrystal Macmillan Building)

Education, populism and civic virtue

Lindsay Paterson (Social Policy, University of Edinburgh)

A consistent finding of research on education’s civic effects is that it fosters liberalism, respect, tolerance, and social responsibility. Yet education has also, much more recently, been seen as a source of division – as arousing anger among those who have little of it. It has been speculated that this education divide is a potential explanation of various kinds of populist rebellion against educated liberal elites. The paper considers survey evidence from several countries that might cast light on these recent debates.


28 November, 12-1 pm (Conference room 2.15, Chrystal Macmillan Building)

The distribution of student loans and grants: comparing the long-term financial impact of more targeted and more universal systems of student funding

Lucy Hunter Blackburn (School of Education, University of Edinburgh)

Lucy is currently in the final year of a PhD  studying the relationship between family income and how much ex-students have to pay back to government after taking part in higher education. Her research examines how far different decisions on “free tuition” in Scotland and Wales are associated with different distributions of total borrowing by end of course, according to family income, and how the actual repayments of those who started from lower income backgrounds are likely to compare to those starting from higher income ones. The research contributes to the wider debate about the relative merits of universalism and targeting, or means-testing, in public services, as a way of reducing inequality.


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