Private income does not equal tyranny 2

December 10, 2009

A critical component of UK government policy towards private providers of higher education must be to ensure that boards of directors (and the shareholders who appoint them) have no say in academic decision-making, so that impenetrable firewalls exist between the owners of such institutions and the organs of scholarly policymaking.

In the case of BPP, such a firewall appears to exist, but it is enshrined in articles of association that can be amended without Privy Council approval. Indeed, under those articles, BPP needs to give only 24 hours' notice to the Privy Council of any change of ownership.

Moreover, the academic council established by those articles has only a minority of independent members - a situation that would not be tolerated by any of the regional higher education-accrediting commissions in the US.

Geoffrey Alderman, University of Buckingham.

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