The crisis in the universities

A Critic panel brought light as well as heat to the troubled question of higher education

Like all the best radical, insurgent voices, The Critic first saw its audience at a party in a Mayfair ballroom. For the second time in our five years of life, we decided to launch an issue with an event. Thus, earlier this month, the Universities in Crisis special number debuted in front of an invited audience in Cambridge.

We were delighted to see many friends of and contributors to the magazine present, including Helen Joyce from Sex Matters, Will Solfiac, TheArticle’s Daniel Johnson, Dan Hitchens from First Things, ConHome’s William Atkinson, Ellen Pasternack from Civitas, Andrew Cusack, GBN’s Charlie Peters, David Landrum, David Starkey, Ed West, David Scullion, Patrick Nash and Daniel Robinson from Pharos, Peter Sarris, Joanna Pedder, Connor Tomlinson, Lucy Sixsmith, Anna Abulafia, Capel Lofft, Rev Max Bayliss, John Ritzema, John Marenbon, Kit Wilson, Lola Salem, Gavin McCormick of Antigone Journal, Fred Skulthorp, Michael Hurley, JCD Clark, and Esme Partridge.

An all star panel of Critic editors and contributors, chaired by deputy editor Graham Stewart, addressed the theme of the crisis in the universities. James Orr spoke about the narrowing of speech in the university, and the centralisation of increasingly politicised research at Oxford and Cambridge. Sebastian Milbank discussed the medieval origins of  the university, and its contemporary crisis of purpose. Charlie Bentley-Astor led us into the subterranean world of the modern conservative student, forced to live out their shameful beliefs in secret. And David Butterfield called for a return of the humanistic heart of academia.

Our next event will be a discussion of transgenderism held in a central London venue. You can sign up to our mailing list here, to stay informed.

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Critic magazine cover