Thursday, May 23Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Thatcher’s Reforms Revisited Through National Archive Release

In lieu of the recently exposed archives that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been working on, the Iron Lady and her changes to universities and the higher education system are once again being evaluated. The documents released at the end of last year by the National Archives highlighted Thatcher’s proposed changes to the education system.

The documents revealed the former Prime Minister’s plans to separate schools from local authorities, and her thought’s on GCSEs, which she believed would be detrimental and lead to a ‘can’t fail mentality’. Her reforms are still the basis of the current changes that are being made to the education system, with former education minister Michael Gove attempting to follow her lead.

Thatcher’s higher education policies, while incredibly unpopular amongst students, led to the privatisation of universities. Another change that the former Prime Minister had made was to charge international students for higher education, which was also met with resistance and an immediate decrease in international students, which since the initial reaction, has rapidly increased.