22% of the first cohort for the New College of Humanities (NCH) will hail from state school backgrounds, a number far lower than any other UK university. The new private college offers degrees conferred by the University of London in English, history, philosophy, economics and law. All for the unreasonable price tag of £18,000. Per year.
Higher education is in the process of being shaken up like an experimental new cocktail, mixed by an untrusted barman. David Willetts's white paper promises to introduce competition for the universities, with new providers like A.C. Grayling's New College for the Humanities seeking out new niches in the market for learning. As a result, there's been a lot of talk recently about what universities are actually for.