Soft-touch regulation

March 21, 2013

Your news article, “UK union fans flames as Phoenix feels heat of probation threat” (14 March), reports the difficulties that Apollo Group, owner of BPP University College, is experiencing with US accreditors over the governance of the University of Phoenix, the largest US for-profit university.

We reiterate the call we made in these pages last year: that all new owners of UK-based providers should be subject to the same approvals process as the entity that is being acquired when it obtained degree- awarding powers and university title (“When owners change, keep check on powers”, Letters, 28 April 2012). This would have applied to Apollo’s acquisition of BPP in summer 2009, as well as the purchase of the College of Law (now the University of Law) by Montagu Private Equity in April 2012.

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, has stated that our regulatory regime is tougher than the US equivalent. The action by the Higher Learning Commission is clear evidence that this is not the case.

Roger Brown
Professor of higher education policy
Liverpool Hope University

Geoffrey Alderman
Michael Gross professor of modern history
University of Buckingham

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
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns