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David Watson : An introduction

An introduction to the David Watson archive at the IOE

Collection snapshot

Who was David Watson?

Professor Sir David Watson was Vice-Chancellor of Brighton University between 1990 and 2005. He left Brighton to become Professor of Higher Education Management at the Institute of Education in London between 2005 and 2010. Watson was knighted in 1998 for his services to the higher education sector. He died in 2015, aged 65.

This collection consists mainly of papers of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (NCIHE), of which David Watson was a member. The NCIHE was led by Sir Ronald Dearing and culminated in the 'Dearing Report' in 1997. The Committee's report made 93 recommendations to the government including the introduction of tuition fees, the expansion of higher education, and additional steps in teacher training.

The collection also contains one box of papers relating to the Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN), an organisation aimed at achieving high standards of teaching in higher education.

The David Watson archive is an extremely useful resource for anyone seeking to understand the introduction of tuition fees, and other reforms to higher education from the mid-90s onwards.

Find out more...

Click here to browse the David Watson papers in the UCL archives catalogue 

To learn about how to come in to the IOE library and archives and use the David Watson archive click here.

Contact the archive team

Telephone us on:

020 7612 6983

or e-mail our dedicated enquiry service at

You can also write to us at:

Newsam Library and Archives
UCL Institute of Education
University College London
20 Bedford Way