Entrepreneurs can offer new ways of serving established markets, but large institutions will keep with what has worked in the past so long as it just continues to work in the present. Radical change happens only in an emergency. For the British university that time has now arrived.
Even if it’s true that some wouldn’t be able to afford schooling without government financial assistance, the idea that this necessitates the government creating and running its own schools is a glaring non sequitur.
The true aim of these “scholar activists,” as many academics have begun calling themselves, is to propagate socialism by redefining capitalism to encompass every evil of human history. Which means they're mostly attacking straw men.
Given the loose standards and high default rates that plague the student loan machine, the federal government might as well just be handing out credit cards so everyone can buy more stuff with subsidized loans.
The increasing importance of elite higher education is a symptom of "political capitalism" in which success is determined by political connections rather than by the satisfaction of consumer preferences in the marketplace.