Socialist Worker

Opposition grows to Willetts' white paper

Issue No. 2273

The lecturers’ UCU union executive voted last week to join the opposition to government plans to let private firms get their hands on higher education.

Universities minister David Willetts’ Higher Education White Paper is an attempt to put the market at the heart of the university system. It would make it easier for private companies to set up universities.

It opens the door to more for-profit universities like AC Grayling’s New College of Humanities, and to more outsourcing at existing universities.

The white paper would also change the way in which universities are assigned their student quotas.

Separate national quotas for students with high grades and universities with low tuition fees will enable some universities to recruit more.

Universities could face heavy fines for missing recruitment targets, so they are expected to divert resources towards marketing.

And all are expected to cut costs—at the expense of university workers.

UCU has now joined the National Union of Students in backing a national demonstration against the white paper on Wednesday 9 November.

The protest was called by the Education Activist Network and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.

For more on the white paper go to

New College of Resistance, Sunday 29 October, 11am-5pm, King’s College London

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Tue 11 Oct 2011, 18:47 BST
Issue No. 2273
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