Led by YBF Research Director, Alex Deane, and YBF’s Research Fellow, Nick Hallett, and aided by dozens of volunteers feeding back information from schools, colleges and universities across the country, the Young Britons’ Foundation undertakes and publishes research into left-wing extremism, waste and bias in the education system focusing on schools, colleges, universities, students’ unions, teaching colleges and teaching unions.
The Freedom of Information Act, coupled with students’ rights as members of students’ unions to uncover information that might otherwise remain hidden from view, means that YBF is able to hold those who receive tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to account – and to ensure that they do not poison the minds of thousands of students in their care.
The main focuses of YBF’s research are:
- Non-courses – exposing undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in worthless subjects that are paid for by taxpayers (eg: a Masters Degree in Social Networking at Birmingham City University);
- Biased Syllabuses – highlighting the way in which students are force-fed only one side of the argument rather than receiving a truly balanced education;
- Politicised Expenditure – revealing the ways in which students’ unions and universities advance a political agenda to the detriment of ordinary students;
- Waste – exposing wasteful expenditure by students’ unions, grant-awarding governmental bodies and university administrators during a recession;
- Student Print & Broadcast Media – highlighting biased and politicized reporting in student newspapers, radio, television and online forums;
- Students’ Union Motions – focusing on extremist declarations, including unlawful activities.
In 2010, YBF exposed a culture of waste at the Arts & Humanities Research Council that resulted in coverage in The Sunday Express.
Working with students at St Andrew’s, YBF helped to prevent the banning of the armed forces from the alma mater of the Duke of Cambridge.
YBF also exposed the lack of accountability surrounding a £1m grant to the makers of a film about the life of Margaret Thatcher, garnering coverage in The Daily Mail.
Questions raised in Parliament by YBF’s Vice-President, Conor Burns MP, revealed that neither the government nor universities have any idea whether taxpayers’ money is being spent properly by students’ unions or if students’ rights under the Education Act 1994 are being upheld or ignored.