A matter of trust
Professor Sir Paul Curran writes for Research Fortnight about rebuilding public trust in institutions
An article about public trust in the Higher Education sector written by the President of City, University of London has been published in Research Fortnight.
Professor Sir Paul Curran authored the piece in response to recent criticism that the UK university sector has received. In the article he writes:
“Rather than respond to the underlying issue of trust, universities were quick to point to factual errors, misrepresentations and misunderstandings, and followed with discussions of universities’ world-leading research, limited dependence on the state, contributions to local and national economies and, most powerfully, the transformational power of a degree.
This had little effect, and the question “do we trust universities to do what is right?” now appears dressed in many eye-catching guises across the media”.
In the article, which is available to read online, Sir Paul reflects on why public trust in major institutions has diminished and why it has happened now. He concludes:
Universities remain one of the UK’s success stories. Despite continuing criticism, the new year is likely to see them restate their many strengths and achievements, of which the country can be justifiably proud. However, this will need to be coupled with a stance that is ever more personal, ever more engaged and ever more open if we are to enable society to judge where best to place its trust.
Research Fortnight, which published its 500th edition in 2017, offers insights on the people and institutions involved in funding and policy decisions, and how knowledge and learning affects people, the economy and the environment in the UK.