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Private equity firm buys right to sell university degrees

17 April 2012

UCU today said the government needed to act urgently to protect UK universities and public assets from private equity firms after the College Of Law was sold off to Montagu Private Equity.

The union warned that the sale of the charitable College of Law - one of only five private providers in the UK with degree-awarding powers - could see more private equity firms move in and attempt to purchase UK universities.
UCU said the government needed to ensure that there was clear legislation that would protect public assets in any moves from private equity firms to acquire all or parts of universities.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'It is no secret that private equity firms are circling UK higher education. The government needs to make clear commitments to protect our universities and public assets. It is of paramount importance that those assets and any investment are used to further education, not increase the wealth of shareholders.'
The union is currently working on a report looking at private equity in higher education, which is due out next month. More on the sale of the College of Law can be found on the THE website.
Last updated: 11 December 2015