1963 Robbins Report (text)
Extras (two press cuttings and an article)
The Robbins Report (1963)
Report of the Committee appointed by the Prime Minister under the Chairmanship of Lord Robbins
London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1963
Notes on the text
A Treasury Minute of 8 February 1961 stated that Conservative prime minister Harold MacMillan intended to appoint a committee chaired by Lord Robbins:
to review the pattern of full-time higher education in Great Britain and in the light of national needs and resources to advise Her Majesty's Government on what principles its long-term development should be based. In particular, to advise, in the light of these principles, whether there should be any changes in that pattern, whether any new types of institution are desirable and whether any modifications should be made in the present arrangements for planning and co-ordinating the development of the various types of institution.Lionel (Lord) Robbins (1898-1984) was head of the economics department at the London School of Economics, where a building named after him was opened in 1978. He was an advocate of government support for the arts, as well as for universities.
The twelve members of his committee held 111 meetings and received over 400 written submissions of evidence from people or organisations. They visited universities and colleges in Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland and made longer visits to the United States and the Soviet Union. Their report was published in October 1963.
The report online
The full text of the report is presented in a single web page.
The five Appendices are not online. They were published separately: Appendices 1, 3 and 4 at the same time as the Report, Appendices 2 and 5 later. Details of their subject matter can be found in the Contents list in the Preliminary pages of the report.
The page headers (chapter numbers on the left hand pages, chapter titles on the right) have been omitted, as have blank pages.
I have taken two liberties with the text: I have removed the full stop in 'per cent.'; and also the unnecessary apostrophe in, for example, 'the 1830's'. I have also corrected a couple of printing errors and added explanations of one or two archaic words. Anything added to the text is shown [in square brackets]. (However, please note that the report itself uses square brackets twice in the Annex.)
Inside my second-hand copy of the Robbins Report I found two press cuttings from The Times (25 and 26 April 1966) and an article from The Economist (5 April 1969), which may be of interest to readers: they are reproduced on the Extras page.
Summary of the report's main recommendations
Chapter XIX of the report sets out the committee's conclusions, provides a summary of the report, and lists 178 recommendations, of which the following is a brief summary:
Other reports on higher education include:
Dearing (1997) Higher Education in the learning society
Browne (2010) Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education
The 1963 Robbins Report and the above notes were prepared for the web by Derek Gillard. The report was uploaded on 1 March 2011; the revised notes on 18 November 2012.