The Why? Curve
Degree of Doubt
Season 1, Ep. 23
How valuable is higher education? If your degree isn’t one that’s going to help you get a good job, is it worth the huge debts you’ll be saddled with when you leave? The government wants to phase out degrees that don’t improve students’ “earning potential” - so goodbye gender studies or surf science? And what about art and literature, history and pure sciences? Chris Millward, professor of practice in education policy at Birmingham University walks Phil and Roger through what’s valuable and what isn’t in higher education.
The Great Divide
Season 1, Ep. 41
The chancellor has told us how he’s going to slice the national cake this year, but there are those who say he has done nothing to push back against the growing gap in British society - that those who have are getting more, and those who don’t are getting less. The wealth gap, one of the worst in Europe, has increased over the last 20 years, and many see the consequent divide in attitude, social values and politics, with a surge in extremist views, growing as well. Are we, then, increasingly, TWO nations? Despite that, Pat Thane, Professor of Contemporary History at King’s College London, and author of the book Divided Kingdom: A History of Britain from 1900 to the Present, tells Phil and Roger we may actually be moving closer now to a post-Brexit consensus on major national questions.
Work in Progress
Season 1, Ep. 40
In the 1930’s John Maynard Keynes predicted that, with automation and new ways of working, we’d all be working a 15 hour week. Many of us grew up being told that there would be more time for leisure. Yet, here we are, working as hard as ever. Except those who saw the pandemic as an opportunity to leave the workforce altogether. For many, we might be working harder, but spending more time working from home, without the drudgery of the daily commute. So, are we finding a new, more balanced way of working? How are companies adapting to this shift in behaviour? And are some of the fundamental issues of work, like bad management, ever going to shift. Phil and Roger have a barrage of questions for Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, and author of several books on the subject, including ‘New Ways of Organising Work’ and ‘Flexible Working In Organisations’
Hong Kong - Is the Shine Coming Off The Pearl Of The Orient?
Season 1, Ep. 39
Hong Kong is re-emerging from almost two years of COVID isolation, but can it resume its place an Asia’s leading financial hub? Or has Beijing’s imposition of strict security laws made it little different from China’s other economic dynamos like Shanghai or Shenzhen? It’s taken a massive hit over the last year- GDP down by 3.5% - and suffered a brain-drain as some of its brightest and best have left for freer environments in the UK or Taiwan. Dr Yan-ho Lai of the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London and a co-conveyor of the Hong Kong Studies Association gives Phil and Roger his view of the prospects of his home city 25 years after it was handed back to China.