For-profit college head admits expansion will mean bigger class sizes

28 July 2011 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today warned the government that allowing the growth of for-profit education companies could lead to students being ripped off.

The news comes after Carl Lygo, head of UK for-profit university BPP, admitted that student:staff ratios could reach 30:1, as the company expands.

UCU said Carl Lygo's admission demonstrated the pressure being put on BPP to make profits by its American parent company Apollo. Apollo is one of number of for-profit companies being investigated in the US for mis-selling qualifications.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'BPP's belief that student:staff ratios of 30:1 are acceptable shows the pressure its American owners Apollo are putting them under to deliver big profits from UK higher education. 

'Apollo's aim is for BPP to expand fast at low cost, effectively introducing the University of Phoenix model into the UK market. As we've seen from the US, this will result in the aggressive mis-selling of qualifications to the vulnerable and an explosion of student debt in the name of profit, all subsidised by the taxpayer.'