After a rollercoaster couple of weeks, David Willetts has been taking stock and surveying the brave new world he's helped to create. In a speech today he welcomed the findings of Lord Browne, and the Comprehensive Spending Review settlement, and welcomed feedback from the sector.
'I know too that people in this room will have anxieties about the shift in spending,' he stated, 'but I have to ask what the alternative is. Given the fiscal crisis and the pressure that we are under, there is no option of carrying on as we are.'
It's a robust defence, and I hope he's not just whistling in the dark as he finishes by saying that 'I believe that higher education, as well as research, should be able to maintain overall levels of activity throughout this time of austerity...[and]...despite the risks associated with any change, the reforms we undertake will improve higher education in the long run.'