Red tape will cause red face

July 21, 2000

Red tape and bureaucracy cost universities Pounds 250 million a year, according to a report commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council, writes Phil Baty.

A single subject review visit by inspectors from the Quality Assurance Agency costs Pounds 75,000, says the draft report by PA Consulting.

The report, scheduled to be published in the next two weeks, is expected to show that the increasing costs of collecting data for the funding council, the Teacher Training Agency, the Universities and Colleges Admission Service and the Higher Education Statistics Agency, are draining higher education resources.

The report, commissioned as part of Hefce's Treasury-driven transparency review, is likely to confirm academics' fears about red tape - and embarrass Gordon Brown, and show that the costs of administering extra funding are often disproportionate to the extra money awarded.

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