In anticipation of Sir Frederick Dainton's address at SCUP 11th Annual International Conference in Washington, D.C., in 1976, these remarks about the applicability of Britain's University Grants Committee (UGC) funding structure to higher education institutions in the United States take on added significance. Sir Frederick is the full-time chair of the UGC, which inquires into the financial needs of the Commonwealth, advises the government as to the application of grants toward meeting these needs, and particpates in the preparation and execution of plans for the development of the universities. With the future financing of American higher education of increasing concern, Sir Frederick's discussion of the theory and operation of the block grant system--in which the annual government grants to the universities are determined every five years and paid monthly--provide an insight into an alternative to the present American system. Here the reviewers of Block Grants for Higher Education by Raymond C. Gibson find their endorsement of the author's enthusiasm for the UGC system qualified by certain inflexibilities that appear to limit its effectiveness in dealing with new problems generated by declining enrollments and a depressed economy. They feel as well that great attention must be paid to the difficulties of adapting such a centralized system to the institutions of the United States.
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