Market fundamentals 2

March 19, 2004

Many arguments against the higher education bill have been ignored. By the time of a 2009 review, the "higher education market" will be regulated by the World Trade Organisation. Besides the appearance of private finance initatives and public-private partnership deals, we have the rules on what qualifies as a university being relaxed and a seamless mechanism for university mergers, or is that asset-stripping takeovers?

While the National Union of Students is right to focus on top-up fees, because variability will make the crucial distinction that qualifies higher education as a "market", to miss the point that the wider ramifications of the higher education bill mean the permanent privatisation of higher education is inexcusable.

Joe Rukin
NUS National Executive member

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