Friday, 17 July 2015

Red tape

The Privy Council Office publishes notices in the London Gazette, and it’s fascinating to see what business is transacted. A search on the term ‘university‘ gives 236 instances of notices containing that word – most petitions for changes to charters or statues.

And most of the business relates to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, because of the provisions of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1923. The 236 instances could be attributed as follows:

Petitioner
Number of notices
Universities of Oxford or Cambridge
211
Other Universities
12
Non-university business
13

Fully 89% of the notices published by the Privy Council related to Oxbridge, because of the provisions of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1923

Remove ‘university’ as a search term, and only 644 results are revealed – so Oxbridge accounts for almost one third (211/644) of all of the notices placed by the Privy Council Office in the London Gazette.

Amending the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1923 to enable those universities to manage their own affairs without the intervention of the Privy Council would save a lot of time and effort. And not just for Oxbridge – this is public money. 

In times of austerity, isn’t it time to do away with unnecessary relics of a more argumentative past?

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