Archive for December 23rd, 2008

Bradley’s social justice mindset

The term ‘social justice’ doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bradley report on higher education policy, but the idea is everywhere in the section on ‘access’. Advocates of ‘social justice’ believe that they can describe in advance what a just society would look like; the actual interests and preferences of the individuals involved typically do not count for much.

The social justice mindset is behind the targets for ‘under-represented’ groups set out by the Bradley committee. They believe that by 2020 the proportion of students from the lowest 25% of socieconomic postcodes should be 20% of the university population. It’s currently in the 15-16% range. They don’t even attempt to defend this figure; like many other numbers in this intellectually weak report it seems to have been taken out of the air as sounding about right.
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