The worst thing which can possibly happen to Universities is that they become ivory towers with no link to the real world or the actual challenges facing the country.
Jeremy Corbyn tweeted at the weekend that he wants to see "a National Education Service to abolish university fees and deliver free education for all. Let's get corporations out of the classroom and off campus."
I would love to see the abolition of the University Tuition fees which were initially introduced by the last Labour government after they promised at the 1997 general election that Labour had "no plans" to do so. Labour then doubled the fees, breaking their promise at the 2001 election that they would not introduce higher or "top-up" fees and had legislated to prevent them.
I wish I could convince myself that any party had a credible way to fund the implementation of any promise to scrap tuition fees. But I cannot.
If Labour is elected on a promise to scrap student fees there is a good chance that this will be yet another broken promise to add to twenty years of broken promises on student fees.
All three political parties have U-turned in their policies on student fees and financial support. Everyone remembers that the Lib/Dems promised at the 2010 general election not to vote for higher University tuition fees and then did so.
Not quite so many people remember that Labour have broken three such promises. They broke the promises made at the 1997 and 2001 general elections as described above, and when they voted through "top-up fees" the Labour government promised that there would be no further increase in student fees before the end of the following parliament, but then broke that promise to in 2009.
So sadly it is not a surprise that his anti-business worldview should lead him to resurrect this idea. But it was insanity fifty years ago and it is insanity now.
The first is the skill development opportunity it provides for the university's people to be involved in this research. The second is the benefit to recruitment and retention of the brightest staff members which comes with that opportunity and the prestige of winning such contracts.