Thursday, 8 August 2013

Boo to the private sector!

From the BBC:

A second for-profit institution has been granted the title of university.

BPP University College of Professional Studies, based in London with branches nationwide, now becomes BPP University. To be granted the title of university, the institution had to fulfil criteria, such as offering its own degrees and meeting set student numbers.

The move has been condemned by the University and College Union (UCU) which fears more for-profit companies could become universities....

And why might that be, pray tell? Worried that the wicked corporates, probably tax-evading Yanks, will rip off their students with lousy teaching and exhorbitant fees..?

BPP University, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in business, law, finance and tax accountancy, currently charges tuition fees of around £5,000 per year for a three-year degree.

This compares to annual fees of up to £9,000 a year at other UK universities, after the government allowed institutions to treble tuition fees from last September.

Fact is, I did the last four ACCA papers at such a college (AT Emile Woolf it was called) in 1996, it cost about £1,200 for twelve weeks full-time (by university standards) with clean rooms, good handouts and excellent lecturers. That struck me as good value even then*, and by the looks of things, there has barely been any price inflation since (perhaps they have larger class sizes?).

Same story at my first proper job after that, we did the accounts for a private law college which charged fees of about £3,000 a year (fifteen years ago) for one year full-time degree teaching, I think they even squeezed a three-year degree course into two years, there's no point in having the buildings and leaving them empty half the time.

* I effectively got my money back, because by some bizarre sequence of events I got the second-highest mark worldwide in the finals and the prize money was £1,400. I even got one of those giant cardboard cheques to hold up for the photos.


Lola said...

Last para - smart arse....

Bayard said...

..and for how many hundred years were Oxford and Cambridge effectively for-profit companies?