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More 'universities' to enter market.

 
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:18 am    Post subject: More 'universities' to enter market. Reply with quote

Competition in the British tertiary sector is set to increase after the government changed the rules allowing schools with just 1000 students to label themselves universities.(Before the number had to be 4000.) As the TES reports:

The government is set to push ahead with plans to create a new generation of universities by lowering the qualifying threshold for university title from 4,000 to 1,000 students.

Times Higher Education understands that easing the path to university title for small institutions is expected to be a central feature in the government's responses to consultations on last year's higher education White Paper.

The move is one of the policies announced in the White Paper that does not require legislation through a new higher education bill.

The White Paper set out plans to change the criteria for degree-awarding powers and university title as a way of making it "easier for new providers to enter the sector".

However, the proposed expansion of private provision via the opening of degree-awarding powers to non-teaching bodies will require legislation. Degree-awarding powers are, and will remain, a prerequisite for obtaining university title - leaving expansion on this front partially blocked.

The government is expected to publish its responses to the White Paper consultation and the technical consultation on the regulatory framework after Parliament returns from the Whitsun recess on 11 June.

At present, an institution must have at least 4,000 full-time equivalent higher education students, of which at least 3,000 are studying for a degree, before it can apply for university title, a status awarded by the Privy Council.

The government is expected to confirm that it will implement, as the technical consultation proposed, "a reduction in numbers to 1,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) higher education students of which at least 750 are studying for a degree".

According to Andy Westwood, chief executive of GuildHE, such a change would mean a "level playing field" for the smaller specialist institutions in the group and allow them to drop the "confusing" university college title.

One of the front-runners to become the UK's first private for-profit university, BPP University College, has 5,500 full-time equivalent higher education students, so it would not be affected by the change.

Carl Lygo, BPP's principal, said it would "take a view probably next year" on applying for university title, but it is "happy with university college" at the moment. BPP obtained its university college title via Companies House and a stamp of approval from David Willetts, the universities and science minister, rather than via the Privy Council.

Some sector experts say current guidelines may present barriers to private providers gaining university title, questioning why no such institution has sought the status recently. The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 makes a series of specifications about the types of institutions to which the Privy Council may award university title.

But Mr Lygo said: "Under the existing rules, once BPP achieved 4,000 students - which we already have - we could apply for university title."


http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=420048

The government's strategy of course is to get more competition in the market place so that prices come down and quality goes up. What they don't seem to realise is that the opposite will happen: prices will go up and quality will come down. I mean, are for-profit companies like BPP in this for anything more than money and profits? Of course not. Definitely time to get out of this business . . .
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Stuka



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: More 'universities' to enter market. Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:
Definitely time to get out of this business . . .


And not just for teachers. It seems like students, both domestic and international, are losing interest too. According to a UCAS report published last week, fewer students are applying to university in 2013 compared to numbers in 2012. Increased fees, government budget cuts, stricter visa regulations, damage to certain university brands, and the general feeling that a British university education is not worth the enormous investment are starting to take their toll.

http://www.ucas.com/documents/stats/2013_applicantfigures_nov.pdf
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11696
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will the State allow universities to go bust ? What future is there for all thjose second-rate universities offering degrees in humanities and the social sciences ?
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Will the State allow universities to go bust ? What future is there for all thjose second-rate universities offering degrees in humanities and the social sciences ?


Don't worry, the private sector will take up the slack. According to the UCU:

Private colleges now receive over 100m of public money, despite the fact that they are not subject to the same regulation as public universities. Private providers do not have to observe controls on the number of students they recruit, nor do they have to collect information about recruitment figures or completion rates.

In 2011 the government increased the amount of public money private providers could receive in the form of student loans from 3,000 to 6,000. At the same time, the government dramatically increased the number of courses designated fit for public support - one college got 98 courses approved by officials in just a single day.

In 2007/8, loans paid to private providers totalled 15,156,700. By 2010/11 it had risen to 33,006,000. Government figures released last week showed that the figure had almost trebled in size to 100,069,600 in 2011/12.

In the letter the union raises concerns that some of the companies accessing public money are subsidiaries of some of the worst offenders in the scandal hit US for-profit education system.

BPP University College, for example, is owned by the US for-profit education giant Apollo, which has been subject to million dollar legal action in America. Data published in a recent Senate report showed that Apollo depends on federal loans for 88% of its revenue and spends twice as much on marketing as it does on teaching.

Three-fifths (60%) of Apollo students dropped out of their courses within two years, while of those who completed 21% defaulted on paying back their loans within three years of completing their course.

Another big beneficiary of public money is the Greenwich School of Management, owned by Sovereign Capital - a private equity fund whose founder advises the government on public sector reform. Last year, it received 22.6m through student loans - almost a quarter of the total money handed out to private providers.

This is despite the fact that Greenwich School of Management was removed from the 'clearing house' for London Metropolitan University students after a poor inspection from the Quality Assurance Agency, which stated 'the quality of the student learning opportunities' at the institution 'requires improvement to meet UK expectations'.

The union said it was extraordinary that at a time when money is being cut from university and college budgets in the name of austerity that 100 million of taxpayers' money has been handed to private providers through the designation of their courses for public support. This money has to be found within existing government budgets.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The amount of taxpayers' money being handed out to private companies has ballooned. In its enthusiasm to crowbar new providers into the sector, the government has created an uncapped, unregulated shadow higher education sector, profiting from public money without having to undergo even the most basic quality checks or provide any information about their performance.

'The biggest beneficiaries are for-profit companies like BPP, owned by the US for-profit giant Apollo, and Greenwich School of Management, which is owned by a private equity fund whose founder advises the government on public sector reform. Greenwich School of Management has walked away with a cool 22m of taxpayers' money, despite the fact it was thrown out of the 'clearing house' for London Metropolitan students on the back of a poor inspection from the QAA.

'We have raised this issue time and again with ministers but, in the absence of any coherent response, we are now asking the Public Accounts Committee to investigate whether public money is being spent with appropriate safeguards in place. It is quite extraordinary that at a time when money is being cut from university and college budgets in the name of austerity that 100 million of taxpayers' money has been handed to private providers.


http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=6394

This really is a scary development. Education will be raped and pillaged and left in tatters if these hungry profiteerers get hold of it. Britain, along with its ally America, will soon be back in the Dark Ages.
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crewmeal1



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So we can expect more scam Asian 'colleges' on your High Street in the near future!
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