Rector of Imperial College, Sir Roy Anderson, until recently overshadowed by the controversial policy opinions of his predecessor Sir Richard Sykes, is beginning to show his colours in the Higher Education debate. Speaking today to the London Evening Standard, Anderson has revealed his opinion of the need to privatise the top five Universities to release them from the threat of changing government funding priorities and the restrictive fee cap.
Speaking to the Standard, Anderson said, ?If you take the top five universities, they have enormous potential to earn income for Britain. How best to do that? My own view would be to privatise them. You don't want to be subject to the mores of government funding or changing educational structures.?
Anderson has singled out Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial alongside the London School of Economics and University College London as institutions in need of privatisation. Following from his earlier comments on tution fees, Anderson sees the tution fee cap as stifling and has joined other vice-chancellors in calling for the cap to be raised to £6,500. Privatisation would allow Imperial to charge unlimited fees, realising the true market for education.
The move would see any privatised British Universities operating in a similar way to top American institutions, Princeton, Harvard and Yale. Anderson is confident that, even with unlimited fees, ?we would have the scholarship endowment to continue to take people from all walks of life.? In his opinion Higher Eduction is "a product that Britain does superbly" while the government spends too much time and effort supporting "dying industries such as car manufacturing". This was an astute comment, on the same day that General Motors, previously the world's second largest car manufacturer, has filed for bankrupty with an offer of $30 Billion dollars from the White House.
Live! thinks it is strange timing for Roy to call for the top five institutions to become privatised seeing as there is some doubt as to whether Imperial is actually one of these.