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Birmingham blues

As the Conservatives gather for their party conference in the city of Joseph Chamberlain, the country is locked in political stalemate.

This time last year, prime minister Theresa May announced a “major review” of higher education funding. Her interview with The Sunday Telegraph on the eve of the Tory party conference was to lead to Philip Augar’s review of post-18 funding and the political scalps of the education secretary Justine Greening and the universities minister Jo Johnson.

One year on, the report of the funding review has been postponed until November, at the earliest, as the government faces choppy waters over the presentation of the student loan book in the public accounts. But this year, higher education is not foremost in the minds of the Conservative Party.

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