GuildHE Response to UUK Report on Private Providers of Higher Education

Universities UK has published a commentary on private universities and public funding, GuildHE has a number of members who are private specialist providers of higher education but work with public sector universities in franchising and validation relationships. More and more higher education is asked to behave like a business as we see employer co-funded courses consultancy, knowledge transfer, forming a more significant feature of HE turnover. 
Commenting on the report and the increasing involvement of private higher education Alice Hynes CEO of GuildHE said “There is a blurring between ‘private’ ‘public’ and “not for profit” independent providers of higher education. 
How much should we all be worrying if it encourages us to further sharpen up the quality of the higher education provided to the benefit of our students – is that a problem? If it creates a wider range with offerings and partnerships being developed that play to mutual strengths- is that a problem? GuildHE would argue for diversity and for student choice.
What could be difficult is the lack of clarity and good quality market information about the range of different provision. We already have concerns about information, advice and guidance for applicants with our current vast set of choices. People will need to clearly understand what they are paying for.
What will also be visible, in a socially networked age, is where the real student experience is seen to be a poor match for the price charged. The difficulty is of course that in certain subject areas the for profit sector will be stronger than in others and perhaps the public institutions have tended to rely on some of these for their internal markets”.
To view a copy of the UUK commentary please click on the link below