This book examines an important aspect of the relationship between higher education and the public - especially secondary - system of schooling in Britain.
Higher education has influenced secondary schools in a number of ways, and not least in the development of school examinations. The contributors to this book ? each of them experts in their fields analyse the contributions made by some university luminaries, most of them still household names. These personalities have contributed in a variety of ways such as:
- becoming Ministers of Education
- contributing powerfully to successive reform movements
- using their status as members of that mysterious class called 'the great and the good' to mould public policy and to chair prestigious commissions
- choosing to centre their own research and scholarship on matters related to schooling.
Using Oxford University as its chosen case study, this book places these studies in the wider context of the role of Oxford in public and political life, and in an international context. It examines critically the overall contribution of one university to the formulation of national policies, questions the extent to which that contribution has been unique and beneficent, and offers explanations of the contemporary decline in that influence.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the Oxford Review of Education.