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15 unions worldwide have now signed an international agreement on defending education and employment standards in the context of global marketisation. Together, these unions represent more than half a million tertiary education workers around the world.

The deepening global recession and the cutting back of public provision will only give greater encouragement to a burgeoning private sector, making the international agreement only more relevant and important.

We are now turning this community of over 500,000 academics into something tangible.

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BPP posts £118 million losses in blow to Apollo’s ambitions

The cause of for-profit education in the UK took a blow yesterday with the news that BPP University College, the for-profit education company with degree-awarding powers made an operating loss of more than $190 million (£118 million). The losses were largely the result of the US parent company Apollo charging BPP $175million for poorer than expected performance in the context of an uncertain market. According to the figures and accompanying reports, BPP’s enrolments for law and business courses are suffering during the recession and Apollo is concerned that this market will remain uncertain. The news comes only weeks after the Browne report recommended allowing companies like BPP to access the remaining public funding and publicly subsidised tuition fee loans, a call echoed by the right-wing think tank Policy Exchange. UCU warned that the losses and the uncertainty over BPP’s future revealed by Apollo’s actions demonstrated that the private sector is unfit to step into the breach opend up by massive cuts to public funding. The union also said that private companies should not be allowed to access public funding to shore up their struggling operations. Read the union’s press release here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5123

Read the report in the Times Higher here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=414308&c=1

Download the union’s briefing on for-profit higher education here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/k/l/ucu_subprimeed_briefing_sep10.pdf

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