The common characteristic of private universities in Central and Eastern Europe is that none of them existed 20 years ago. The 'private revolution' in this part of the world started after the dissolution of the Soviet block and the fall of communism in 1989. The ossified structures of centrally managed higher education systems were unable to react to the new educational needs of emerging market economies.
The only for-profit institution in Britain authorized to offer higher-education degrees is in talks with several public universities about managing the business side of their operations, according to the Guardian. The company, BPP, “has launched an aggressive expansion plan to jointly run at least 10 of its publicly funded counterparts,” the paper reports.
Coalition government plans to expand the number of private universities in the UK risks leading to higher dropout rates and lower academic standards, according to a powerful lobby of almost 500 professors, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph. It is claimed that giving profit-making companies access to state funding will create a system in which institutions pursue short-term financial gains at the expense of a decent education.
The British government's apparent move to suspend the higher education bill will not automatically derail the expansion of private provision, according to government critics and leading private institutions.
Only one message will have reached most of the public from Sir Andrew Foster's report on further education: that a significant (but unspecified) proportion of colleges are failing and should be taken over by private providers. Not surprisingly for a 113-page assessment of an entire sector, the real verdict is much more complex and generally more sympathetic to the colleges. Sir Andrew blames successive governments for giving further education too wide a brief, confusing employers and students while spreading resources too thinly. He suggests that higher education courses are among the distractions, and he advocates a model closer to the American community college. Sir Andrew Foster
The establishment of a new private liberal-arts college in London, which was announced to widespread media coverage on Sunday, appears to have already hit several significant hurdles. A.C. Grayling, a well-known philosopher and the driving force behind the New College of the Humanities, had said in an introduction to the institution posted on its Web site that its students would have access to many resources at the University of London, including its libraries. However, in a statement, the University of London said that there was “no formal agreement between the University of London and the NCH concerning academic matters” and that there was not yet any agreement “regarding access to the Senate House Libraries by NCH students.”
The head of Britain's first for-profit university college was paid £738,000 ($1,177,000) in one year, while the co-chief executive officer of the firm’s U.S. owner has a long-term pay deal valued at £15.8 million ($25.2 million).
N. Forgo, M. Goralczyk, and S. Hanold. 2013 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), page 4187-4190. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), (July 2013)