Private values and for-profit standards (3 of 3)

March 8, 2012

Carl Lygo, principal of BPP University College, makes a serious category error in equating for-profit universities (under investigation in the US but promoted by the UK government as a solution to a nebulous "problem" with the academy) with private (ie, not state-run) not-for-profits ("Room for a profitable view", 16 February).

Mentioning the likes of Harvard and Stanford universities, which are private not-for-profit universities, as support for profit-seeking as a legitimate motive in providing higher education is a non sequitur. BPP is in a parlous state if the best argument it can muster for its approach is a false parallel between not being run by the state and being run for the benefit of shareholders.

As a professor at a private not-for-profit in Japan, I can confirm that the attitudes here are far closer to those of state institutions (in Japan and the UK) than to those of the for-profits.

If anything, the success of institutions such as Harvard is a strong argument for less state control of existing not-for-profits in the UK rather than the introduction of extra competition from for-profit institutions.

Andrew A. Adams, Deputy director, Centre for Business Information Ethics, Meiji University, Tokyo

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show