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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Subprime Opportunity

In a scathing report, the U.S.-based Education Trust is accusing American for-profit colleges of making out like bandits while students are left with crippling levels of debt.

The report lists a series of concrete examples of how for-profit higher education is failing:

The University of Phoenix – the nation’s largest for-profit postsecondary education provider – [...]

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 [...]

Massive cuts and privatisation for UK universities

UK universities have been rocked in the last month by 40% cuts to public funding, proposals to raise student tuition fees to £9000, to completely marketise the funding base for many subjects and, predictably, to make it easier for US for-profit companies to expand to fill the gaps.

Firstly, the Browne review recommended removing the cap [...]

Italian education system under attack from cuts and privatisation

A report from Marco Broccati, FLC CGIL (Italy)

In Italy, things are going from bad to worse. This Government has cut funding in every public branch. Schools, Universities and public institutions of research have been the first victims. We had, all in all, a cut of about 10 billions euros in 3 years, which means [...]

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 company lobbies for de-regulation of UK universities

UK private education company BPP College has been lobbying the new coalition government for further de-regulation of the rules governing university status in moves that would open the door for the further expansion of the private sector. A story in the Times Higher Education magazine appeared to confirm what UCU has suspected, that BPP has [...]

China issues warning on private colleges

The Chinese government has taken the unusual step of issuing a public warning for students to stay away from private colleges in Australia.

According to The Australian, the Chinese Ministry of Education says Australia’s private colleges, even if they are properly accredited by local authorities, are “unstable and risky.”

“Students should be cautious and not [...]