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Three charged over university plot.

 
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:59 pm    Post subject: Three charged over university plot. Reply with quote

At Yahoo today I found this story entitled Three charged over university plot:

Three men have been charged with conspiring to steal more than 2 million from a university.
Two men, aged 35 and 36, from Leicester, and a 33-year-old, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, are accused of conspiring to steal 2,036,618 from the University of Sussex in October 2010.
It is alleged that money paid by the university for building work on new student accommodation was unlawfully diverted to an unrelated account, said Sussex Police.
The prosecution follows an investigation by the force's major fraud unit.
The men are due to appear at Leicester Magistrates' Court.


I think we're gonna be reading more stories like this as universities in the UK outsource their building work to dodgy companies in the private sector.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/three-charged-over-university-plot-111953132.html
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 702
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The funds were restored to the university's accounts shortly after the transfer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16483631
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
The funds were restored to the university's accounts shortly after the transfer.


Trust the BBC to close this story very neatly. Crime committed, criminals apprehended, justice done. Sounds like a traditional Hollywood narrative. But I ask what are the consequences of such behaviour on our universities and their already damaged reputations? This is a question the BBC didn't tackle.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 702
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what point you ae making here. All UK universities outsource their building construction - they don't do it themselves ! Just as they outsource catering, equipment supplies, IT equipment, stationery etc etc.

If one of these suppliers commits fraud, how does this damage the university's reputation? Fraud is not necessarily committed by "dodgy companies".
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
I'm not sure what point you ae making here. All UK universities outsource their building construction - they don't do it themselves ! Just as they outsource catering, equipment supplies, IT equipment, stationery etc etc.

If one of these suppliers commits fraud, how does this damage the university's reputation? Fraud is not necessarily committed by "dodgy companies".


You're right when you say that universities outsource their building work, but the issue is the scale of that outsourcing. In the past, much of university land was protected under law and it was illegal to build on it. Somewhere along the way, these laws got dismantled and the green light was given to go full steam ahead and build, build, build. The consequence of this is that many universities now resemble construction sites.

Have you wandered around some of our universities today and noticed the brutal architecture that jars with the former traditional styles that gave each university its uniqueness and its connection with the splendid past? I have and it's sickening. Like our High Streets, which are populated with the same old brand names, our universities are now just as bland as the next one because companies like INTO University partnerships insist on putting stuff up that is jerry-built. But the million dollar question is how have they leveraged themselves into this position? The answer is that INTO provide cash strapped universities with students, while corrupt Vice Presidents of those same universities engage in dodgy back-room deals by flogging off what is essentially public land. Haven't you heard? It's the Great University Property Scam, as the article below makes clear:

http://www.btinternet.com/~trabant601k/icels/scam.html

Interestingly enough, Study Group are involved in a joint venture with Sussex University where the fraud occurred. And Study Group as you may well know was previously owned by Andrew Colin, who is now the CEO of INTO University Partnerships. Are you now starting to connect the dots?
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:
But the million dollar question is how have they leveraged themselves into this position? The answer is that INTO provide cash strapped universities with students, while corrupt Vice Presidents of those same universities engage in dodgy back-room deals by flogging off what is essentially public land.


The University and Colleges Union(UCU) are calling fro greater scrutiny of Vice President's pay after "it was revealed that the heads of the Russell Group universities received an average of almost 318,000 in pay and benefits last year".

http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5871&from=5853

And it isn't just VPs at Russell Group Universities that are raking in the dough. Most VPs in the Redbrick schools have been awarded pay rises and continue to receive lavish perks from their universities and private sector partners. These perks include "rent-free accommodation, bonuses, cars and international flights".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8288605/Vice-chancellors-receive-up-to-40000-in-benefits.html

The public might well feel reassured when VPs like Prof Malcolm Grant, vice-chancellor of University College London, are willing to take a 10 per cent pay cut, but the fact remains: While university budgets are being slashed, professors and teachers are fighting for their jobs, and whole departments are being dismantled, the VPs don't give two hoots and are laughing all the way to the bank.
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