David Willetts


13 October 2015


David Willetts will analyse the different roles of the modern university and the different types of benefits they bring. He will argue that universities do bring substantial economic benefits but that these are not the only type of benefit they bring. He will consider objections to the so-called ‘marketization of universities’ and argue that universities’ growing significance in a modern market economy does not conflict with their core mission of transmitting and creating knowledge and the conceptual skills to enhance understanding.



David Willetts is Executive Chairman of the Resolution Foundation and a Visiting Professor at King’s College London. He is Governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

He was Minister for Universities and Science, attending Cabinet, from 2010-2014. He was the Member of Parliament for Havant from 1992-2015. Before that David worked at HM Treasury and the Number 10 Policy Unit. He also served as Paymaster General in the last Conservative Government.

David has written widely on economic and social policy. His most recent book ‘The Pinch’ was published by Atlantic Books in 2010.



The David Watson Memorial Lecture Series, 2015 – 2016, What Should Universities Be?

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