Former Universities and Science Minister David Willetts in panel debate at University of Leicester

Posted by pt91 at Jan 26, 2018 02:36 PM |
Public invited to join discussion on the role of universities and challenges they face

Issued by University of Leicester on 26 January 2018

Former Universities and Science Minister David Willetts, who is an honorary graduate of the University of Leicester and delivered the inaugural Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture, is to return to campus to celebrate the official launch of his latest book, A University Education.

The University of Leicester and Oxford University Press have organised the event with the author on Thursday February 15.  It takes place from 5pm-7pm on the University campus.

In A University Education, former Minister for Universities and Science (2010-14), David Willetts presents a compelling case for the ongoing importance of the university, both as one of the great institutions of modern society and as a transformational experience for the individual.

The book combines a passionate advocacy of a university education with a serious in-depth knowledge of the higher education sector. It presents the author’s vision of what universities can offer us - both now and in the future.

To explore this topic in full, an expert panel comprising academics and leading figures from higher education will discuss the themes and implications of David’s book and the audience will be invited to present their own thoughts and questions on the subject.

The panel consists of:

  • (Chair) Professor Paul Boyle CBE, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Leicester
  • David Willetts, Baron Willetts, PC, FAcSS
  • Mary Curnock Cook OBE, Chief Executive UCAS (2010-2017)
  • Professor Chris Husbands MA, PhD, PGCE, Vice-Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Nick Hillman, Director, Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI)

Professor Boyle said: “We are delighted to welcome David back to Leicester. David is no stranger to the University- he opened a hi-tech space research facility in our Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2011.

“He delivered the first Distinguished Chancellor’s Lecture in 2015 on The Future of the UK Science Innovation System and in the following year he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from this University.

“David has a long history of supporting the UK science economy, with his distinguished Parliamentary career seeing him serving as first the Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills and then as part of the Coalition Government’s cabinet as minister for Universities and Science.

“We look forward to a stimulating discussion on the value of higher education, its role in society and the challenges it faces. We hope that many people will take this opportunity to hear from the author as well as other academic experts.”

After the panel debate there will be a book signing followed by a drinks reception.

You can book your place via

Further information:

HEPI review of A University Education:

Oration for David Willetts:

Watch the oration by the Public Orator and response by David Willetts (7:50mins):


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