This article offers a critical assessment of academic intelligence studies in higher education. It argues that universities (and academics) should value this subject far more highly than they currently do. Doing so will enhance better public understanding of an increasingly important and unique device in modern governance. It will also improve the quality of intelligence activity by raising awareness of both good and bad practice, encourage lawfulness by means of public understanding and so defending a vital public service from ill-informed attacks in today’s conflicted world. This, rather than training potential officers, should be the primary purpose of intelligence studies.