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A “new” English University

April 3, 2022

In the late 1960s when my coursework at Notre Dame in Government, Constitutional Law and Political Philosophy were completed, I set off to London to research and write my Ph.D. dissertation on Thomas Carlyle and 19th Century Gnosticism.

While there I audited courses at the London School of Economics taught by the conservative political theorist Michael Oakeshott.

Oakeshott told me that he and a Conservative Party “backbencher” whose name was Margaret Thatcher were concerned that British Universities were “public,” that is State owned, and operated. The two resolved to found what they called an “Independent University” like the many private colleges in the United States.

From that collaboration was born the University of Buckingham that was formally opened as a non-profit “charity” in February 1976 by the Rt. Hon. Mrs Margaret Thatcher, MP.

Obviously in a nation rich in research Universities like Oxford and Cambridge, Buckingham serves a more common, limited, purpose featuring eight academic disciplines much like any American college.

Buckingham’s degree in “Business Enterprise” requires students to start and run a business as part of their degree.  The degree as described by the University “is not your typical degree programme as this programme is split between real-world application and theoretical knowledge.”

To that I say “Bully.”

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