When the Robbins Report on the future of higher education was published in 1963 (Ministry of Education, 1963b), the proportion of young people able to go to university and other colleges of higher education was remarkably low, and these were predominantly students who had been educated in grammar and ‘public’ schools. As we saw in Chapter 6, Edward Boyle realized in the early 1960s (as the long period of Conservative administration was coming to an end) that pressure of numbers and the reorganization of secondary schooling would make it essential to expand rapidly both further education and higher education. The movement towards comprehensive education has been discussed in depth elsewhere in this book; in this chapter, we look at the major impact of post-war demographic factors on higher education, and at the steady expansion of places in all forms of higher education since the 1960s.
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