The whole point of universities, compared to say opinionated journalism, is that the thinking that takes place in them does so over long, considered periods of time. So why should thinking about universities be so make-shift? We need a thinking that is not based upon a polarized debate about who gets to go to Oxbridge or around silly ephemera such as the ‘student premium’ and social mobility. Rather, it must be a mature evaluation of the role of Higher Education in the world today (and tomorrow) and how it is to be paid for given all the other competing demands on the public purse in that complex world. It cannot start out exclusively from the set of assumptions we have at the moment around the infallibility of markets, the light touch regulation of self-declared elites, and the vocational employability of graduates. If we are to give our universities a future, this alternative thinking of policy must embrace the ‘who knows’ of the changing global tomorrow.