In the 2020s universities need to step up as a central pillar of civil society | Jonathan Wolff

We need better student mental health care, fairer staff contracts – and the strength to resist the chill from on high

Higher education review of the decade? Hmm. The 2010s will be remembered by me as the age of the academic league table. Global, local, research, teaching, or knowledge exchange; official, unofficial, by newspaper or blogger. Give academics a new league table performance indicator, and we’ll go a-chasing, with all the dignity of a soap opera character at the Boxing Day sales.

And what is in store for the 2020s? Brexit planning suggests universities will be keener still to inch up every league table, thereby bolstering national and international student recruitment and easing their bank balances.

Related: Temporary work at £9 an hour. No wonder lecturers are balloting to strike

Related: Everything must be measured: how mimicking business taints universities | Jonathan Wolff

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