Universities in talks to outsource services
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Wednesday 15 August 2012
Two universities are negotiating deals to outsource their services to private companies, in what could be a new model for higher education.
Unions have reacted angrily and threatened to take industrial action to stop the proposed deals, which they claim amount to privatisation.
In one case, London Metropolitan University (LMU) is in discussions with three private companies which could lead to the take-over of the bulk of its services. One of the three firms is an IT company based in Bangalore in India, the investigative news website Exaro revealed yesterday.
Professor Malcolm Gillies, vice-chancellor of LMU, said he was optimistic that a deal could lead to several London higher education institutions benefiting from shared services. He said the university was seeking to reduce its in-house support staff by as much as 40 to 50 per cent. He added that "a lot of universities" were considering how they could do the same. "There may be some staff losses and some staff gains," he said, "but if you run it into shared services, you grow a business."
LMU insists it would simply be paying an operating fee to the selected company which would have "zero ownership" of the business.
Sussex University is also seeking to put some of its services – catering and land estates – into the hands of a private company.
John Duffy, registrar and secretary, said: "As we grow we need to ensure we provide support services to our students and staff as efficiently and effectively as possible."
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Bubonic plague-carrying fleas found on New York City rats
London property boom built on dirty money
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...
expenses on shoots: WORLDbytes: Volunteering with a media based charity,for a ...