Talks held on universities buying loans co.

January 17, 1997

THE COMMITTEE of Vice Chancellors and Principals is investigating the feasibility of the universities buying the Student Loans Company.

The CVCP's director of policy development, Tony Bruce, will be holding discussions with the company and the Department for Education and Employment over the next three weeks with a view to producing an options paper on loans for the CVCP next month.

The CVCP executive has charged Mr Bruce with exploring an idea put forward by Iain Crawford, a member of the centre for educational research at the London School of Economics. Mr Crawford and fellow CER member Nicholas Barr produced a submission on loans to the Dearing Committee.

Barr and Crawford's proposals maintain that the universities are the most appropriate owners of the SLC because it is in their best interests to strike a balance between the needs of students and commericial requirements of a loans system. They warn that selling the SLC to the private sector could lead to unfavourable terms for student borrowers.

The Barr and Crawford argument is that universities would seek to secure the best deal for students who are their main source of income while ensuring the repayment mechanism is sufficiently credible and efficient to attract the highest price in private sector.

Mr Bruce said: "We want to test this idea out to see if there is any mileage in it. Barr and Crawford make a valid point about the dangers of loans being captured by an unfriendly lender or commercial operator."

Dr Barr said: "If the CVCP registers interest it will be very difficult for the Government to ride roughshod over this idea." The Government is also trying to sell the debt to the private sector by early next year.

The National Union of Students opposes the selling off of the SLC.

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

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