Can governments improve higher education through 'informing choice'?

Business School Main Lecture Theater G12
Research, Social Sciences, Students
Tuesday 6th March 2012 (17:15-19:15)
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Karen Wright
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 5937

Professor Peter Davies – Inaugural Lecture

A ‘Key Information Set’ of indicators of course quality and outcomes has been introduced to promote ‘informed choice’ in Higher Education in England. This policy assumes that additional information will increase efficiency by strengthening incentives for HEIs to be responsive to students’ preferences. If relatively disadvantaged students start from a position of being less well informed than their peers the policy might also improve equity. However, government policy that aims to reduce ‘information problems’ faces several questions. What do parents and students need to know if they are to act as ‘informed choosers’ and will parents and students interpret additional information in the way that policy makers intend? What conditions are necessary for additional knowledge to become widely shared and how are HEIs likely to respond? Is government intervention necessary or desirable for the creation of these conditions? This lecture investigates information problems in the context of higher education and evaluates arguments for relying on markets or state intervention to address these problems.

The lecture will be followed by a reception in the Business School Atrium

Cost: is free