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Sam’s learning journey

As minister for universities and science, Sam Gyimah developed a real appreciation of what universities do. His resignation leaves little time for a successor to travel that path before having to make crucial decisions.

With Sam Gyimah’s resignation as universities minister in the final hours of November, higher education loses not just another minister but also its most endearing animoji. This fresh-faced, two-dimensional cartoon figure took an astonished sector by storm in 2018, bristling with conservative fervour yet ultimately coming to appreciate the quality of British universities. The departures of both the man and his animoji leave many questions to address.

In a Brexit context, Gyimah’s resignation feels significant because of his record of careerism and party loyalty. While Jo Johnson, another former higher education minister, produced a perfectly formed argument for remaining in the European Union when he resigned as minister for transport last month, Gyimah’s farewell Facebook post was more a cry of confusion and anguish.

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