I’m very interested to see that some investigation is going to be carried out into whether universities are really “dumbing down”. Following a Times Higher poll in which 9 out of 10 academics said they thought standards were falling, a cross-party panel of MPs is now to investigate whether this is really the case, and they are asking for those with “hard evidence” to “come out of the woodwork”. If the job is done properly, one way or another this ought to put the issue to rest. But I fear it may be somewhat idealistic to think that anything conclusive either way can be proved. And besides, surely this investigation ought to start with the A-level system – since so many of the woes of the modern university have their roots in pre-18 education. You can read the Times Higher report here.