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The Russell Group pitches universities as anchor institutions, while voters want money for troubled providers

Historically, it has been pretty commonplace to criticise universities for their apparent isolation from the rest of the community. Phrases like ‘ivory tower’ and ‘town and gown’ didn’t come out of nowhere.

Perhaps there is some evidence of a changing tide, though. In the past year or so—perhaps as a result of necessity—it feels like the higher education sector is starting to fight its corner a little more vocally. In the wake of an exposé in the Sunday Times on universities using recruitment agents and subsidising their activities by recruiting overseas students, Universities UK in particular was robust in its response.

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