The Higher Education and Research Bill has been heralded by Jo Johnson as a game changer for the fortunes of alternative providers, but there are still many barriers to sector entry, as Catherine Boyd has found out.
What is a private university? The latest big UK HE news is that the for-profit Regent’s College has been given the right to use the title “university”, and will become “Regent’s University London”. The Guardian says that it “will become only the second private university in Britain”… which I’m not sure is the case. It is definitely a university. And it is definitely in Britain. But is it private? And does it count as the second one? Well, it depends what you mean by a private university. This post takes a look at what these terms mean, and gathers together details of the recent changes that have taken place primarily in English HE which have muddied waters both public and private.
The media today has been covering the public launch of Pearson College. The new offering from the education publishing giant sees it move into full undergraduate degrees from the HNCs and HNDs it offers through its subsidiary, the examination board Edexcel. This post looks at the interesting changes to Pearson’s business model that have taken place which tells us a lot about the current state of HE reform.
Should the embryonic for-profit sector of British Higher Education be given the same access to public funds as other universities, and what would happen if they were?
There is plenty of competition between publicly funded universities, and a very wide range of student choice by programme of study, type of institution, geographical location and reputation. Whatever one thinks of the White Paper and the new system of student funding, it is very evidently introducing student choice by price of qualification as well; from 2012, students will be able to choose programmes of study that will range in price from below £6,000 to £9,000 per year. There is no inherent need for a large for-profit sector to provide future students with a “genuine alternative”.
Yesterday saw BPP University College announced their 2012 fees are set at £5,000. This could be a game changer. It is the first announcement from the David Willetts-endorsed ‘new wave’ of private providers, putting BPP under a considerable amount of scrutiny.