Happy Birthday Open University

Higher education news is invariably gloomy in this country. Today, however, is the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Open University, one of the undoubted success stories of a distant Labour government. I once gave a lecture to an OU ethics class, and was incredibly impressed by people who after a long day in the office, still had the energy and committment for a further two hours of intellectual activity. Perhaps in forty years time we will be celebrating how Cameron and the Conservatives further diversed higher education provision, perhaps with more private institutions, or, by enabling think tanks to run summer schools on public policy issues, from which students can derive transferable credits.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens