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Sir Michael Barber: UK universities face 'big threats'

Britain must radically overhaul its education system, and quickly, if it is to continue being a world leader, according to a new Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report.

The report says we are entering an era of "intense pressure" on universities driven by globalisation, technology, rising student expectations and competition for funding.

The report also warns of the negative impact of immigration policies on universities and the wider economy.

Sir Michael Barber, chief education adviser at Pearson and chief author of the IPPR report, told Today presenter John Humphrys: "There are big threats to UK universities if they don't change."

He went on to emphasise the importance of encouraging competition between universities on the world stage.

"I think the most important thing is that Britain's university leaders seize the opportunity."

He added: "You can hold academics accountable for the quality of their teaching, as well as their research output."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 11 March 2013.

  • 11 Mar 2013