Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Private Providers (again)

So to Wonkhe where I find a link to this article by Howard Hotson, but actually I want to blog about this one instead which is confusingly dated 2 June, but hey.

One reflection is that again BPP and Buckingham get to stand in for the whole private sector - whereas Regents, Kaplan, ifs and many others ought by rights to be as prominent. Whatever else it may achieve, the University title seems to win a lot of press attention.

A second reflection is the degree of moral panic at work here. I've commented on this issue before This is by no means the worst example I've ever seen, but see how even the monthly start dates at University of Phoenix are presented as a plot against the would-be students.

Thirdly there is a lack of attention to the differences between UK and US models - American regulation is state-based, and accordingly not well adjusted to cope with a national HE provider like Phoenix. UK regulation is still national in many respects (e.g. the QAA).

There's no reason to tar UK private providers by association. Even as reputable, ethical businesses (which many of them are), they provide more than enough threat to the established universities. I'm going to post on how I perceive that threat (or that opportunity, for the private sector) in a later post, as soon as I can get it down to a reasonable size.

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