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Taking action in higher education

Proper bidding process required for future of education in Kent

15 March 2013 | last updated: 10 December 2015

UCU today said a robust, open and fair bidding process was needed to ensure the long-term viability of decent education for students in Kent.

The union was responding to the news that a tendering process is to start to decide who will provide education previously delivered by K College in Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford, Folkestone and Dover.

The union said the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), who is running the tendering process, needed to be aware of private firms likely to be circling Kent looking to make a fast buck out of the collapse of K College. UCU added that it was important there was continuity for staff and students and called for a seamless transition when a new provider was found.

UCU regional official, Michael Moran, said: 'The most important thing is that students in Kent and the college's staff are properly protected. We need a seamless transition to the new provider and to ensure that staff's terms and conditions are protected.

'The SFA needs to be wary of private firms looking to make a quick buck in Kent. Students' education should not be bought and sold to bidders who only want to make money. The tendering process must properly scrutinise the bids and recognise that quality of education, experience in delivering for students are more important than the bottom line.'