Last week the Brown government made a classic false economy with higher education spending. It abolished the Commonwealth Scholarship scheme to save £10 million a year. This scheme has, for 49-years, brought bright students from Canada, Australia and New Zealand to study at the UK’s best universities (which are cash-strapped compared to their U.S. counterparts). It effectively doubled the pool of bright, English-speaking students from which Oxbridge and the University of London were able to draw. Top U.S. schools will now get these students instead. So, to save 10 million quid, British universities are having their talent pools halved.