About the network

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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U of Phoenix facing new investigation

The University of Phoenix, the for-profit subsidiary of the Apollo Group, is facing new allegations of wrongdoing. The attorney-general of Massachusetts is asking the company for 10 years of documents as part of an investigation into possible “unfair or deceptive practices.”

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 [...]

Stand by for more for-profit universities in UK

In spite of persistent lobbying by the University and College Union, not least in our recent report on the scandals in the US for-profit sector, the Coalition government seems hell-bent on opening up the UK university sector for private sector profit. BPP, which is owned by Apollo, Kaplan and Laureate have been lobbying the government [...]

More woes for University of Phoenix

The news just keeps getter worse for the Apollo Group and its flagship University of Phoenix. The state of Oregon has announced that it’s suing the company for $US 10 million for securities fraud.

The state’s treasurer and attorney general claim the University of Phoenix prepared misleading  financial statements. The for-profit college allegedly overstated its [...]

Student Recruitment

The US Congress has been investigating the unethical recruitment of students by many private for-profit institutions. In Canada, the spotlight is now being shone on the international student recruitment practices of our public universities and colleges.

A recent article in the Globe and Mail newspaper highlights how some Canadian institutions, facing budgetary constraints, have outsourced [...]

Enrolment plunges at U of Phoenix

The Apollo Group has announced that enrollments at its flagship institution, the University of Phoenix, have dropped by a whopping 40%.

According to Bloomberg News, the biggest education company in the U.S. has been forced to withdraw its 2011 earnings forecast due to the declining student numbers and “increased regulatory scrutiny.”

The Obama Administration has [...]

Washington Post share price falling as Kaplan students default on loans

An interesting report in the Observer newspaper on 22 August picked up that Kaplan’s parent company, the Washington Post, saw its share price fall to the lowest point this year as the row about defaults on student loans among private sector students in the USA continues. Peter Preston’s report noted:

“Some 62% of Post revenues last [...]

UK academics slam privatisation of universities as BPP becomes ‘university college’

UCU warned the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government that encouraging the growth of private universities would damage the UK’s international reputation and invite serious questions about standards. BPP, the subsidiary of Apollo which has degree awarding powers, has been lobbying the government heavily to relax the regulations on who can call themselves a university.

As the Times Higher [...]

New briefing on KAPLAN

Please find a new briefing document, produced by UCU on KAPLAN’s presence in UK higher education. KAPLAN are on of the three large US education businesses, alongside Apollo and Laureate, that now have a foothold in UK higher education. With the new Coalition government set to encourage more private companies to step in to fill [...]

Private pathways programs target U.S. “market”

Inside Higher Ed reports that U.S. colleges are increasingly turning to for-profit pathway programs for international students in a bid to boost revenues.

In January 2010, Australia-based Navitas sealed its first U.S. deal, a 10-year contract with Western Kentucky University.  Since then,  the company has signed three more  agreements – with the Universities of Massachusetts [...]