We are pleased to announce that Boris is planning a new Higher Education special section on this website to expand on his views and any progress on this important subject. He would like to keep it regularly updated.

..more news soon


  1. Boris, does this mean that we should all be taking up higher education courses?

    *s i n g i n g*

    More singing courses would bring out the best in many people and it could be made more exciting with exquisite musical accompaniment. How about an ‘All Singing Day’? No-one would be allowed to shout for one day – they would have to refine their thoughts into a melodious tone first…

  2. They have degrees in womens studies, surfing and the most bizarre Phd courses, perhaps soon someone will offer a degree in ‘Boris Johnson’!

  3. Given that almost everyone I know is doing higher education in some form, I’ll let them know! I’m sure they’ll all be very interested, as will I!

  4. @jaq: “[…] perhaps soon someone will offer a degree in ‘Boris Johnson’!” Wasn’t that a game? Six degrees of Boris Johnson? Ah. No. That was Kevin Bacon.

  5. Melissa: “More singing courses would bring out the best in many people . . .”

    You are on to an important point.

    The British have always underrated the role of music in education. Interestingly the Japanese modernizers of the 19th century noted the connection between the development of music theory and scientific and technical excellence in Europe (especially Germany) and made the teaching of music a prominent part of the curriculum. It can be argued that the high levels of numeracy achieved by the Japanese today to some extent derive from the discipline of studying music.

    Whether this is applicable to higher education is another question of course . . .

  6. I have no idea if studying music makes you more scientific. It certainly hasn’t done me any good in that department.

    There’s one thing I know about singing, though – it cheers you up. But ONLY if it’s not compulsory.

  7. Listening to Bach is , I think , enough proof that mathematics and music are closely related

  8. There’s nothing like a little organ playing in the bath.

    (I don’t believe I just said that…oh per-lease!)

  9. What is education for? Under the labour government, the focus seems to have been on churning out workers to fulfill the needs of business. I think that I am correct in saying that a recent Key Stage 3 English SATs paper included not a single word of fiction. (I might be wrong about this if Blair himself wrote the paper.) This is really silly, surely the job of education is to make people as academic as they can be, because we think that that is a good thing. There is the spin-off that academic education IS good for the economy, but it should not be the focus – it is a welcome side-effect.

    With regard to Higher Education, I would ask Boris to develop policy that insulates Universities from becoming a business resource. Perhaps part of this is to reinstate a respectable vocational educational system in this country. Vocational training is very rarely the same as academic training (there are exceptions – law and medicine to mention but two). I am not a snob – pretending that everbody can be academic is to ignore the needs of those who cannot.

    I do not know the mechanism for achieving this, but perhaps it can be done in line with Boris’s firmly anti-regulation principles. Hopefully it’s not too namby-pamby to say that Shakespeare or Plato or Newton have a societal value beyond that of learning to read instruction manuals.

    P.S. Only one comment (Mr. Holledge) before mine seems to have treated this discussion on HE policy with any seriousness. Are the other contributors students? If they are, they really ought to reconsider their positions, given how little they seem to care about the system they are in – they should also forget about careers in comedy.

  10. Oh wind your neck in Daniel – you’re on Boris Johnsons site not Peter Hitchens’ (and even HE has a sense of humour). Boris perfectly demonstrates the fact that you can be serious without being miserable and even find time in life for a bit of humour. Boris also has a pretty cat-hot blog mistress in the form of the fabulous Melissa (spotlight, applause) so relax and stick around kiddo, you might just learn something – there are serious comments aplenty here – some even from me!

  11. Sabriam – I particularly like the Brandenburg concertos. Channel 4 did a dance season some years ago featuring this music. People dressed up in fat costumes and danced, it sounds odd but was superb. Over xmas I think Bach was a featured series but I don’t know if it’s still on – see BBC2&R3.

  12. Jaq

    I mean ‘wind your neck in’ is just the perfect way of putting it I think…. you are SO FUNNY lol

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