A fascinating feature from the Guardian Education on Terence Kealey. Since 2001 Kealey has been the Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University. He’s a passionate (another word would be shrill) advocate of private education which is quite appropriate given Buckingham’s unique status:
Kealey, who is 58, calls himself a passionate libertarian and that’s what you’d expect from Buckingham, which was founded in the 1970s as Britain’s only “independent” university. Other universities are technically independent, but Buckingham alone refuses to accept money from Hefce (Higher Education Funding Council for England). Its home students pay annual fees of £8,640 (for degree courses that take two years), though they are eligible for state loans and maintenance grants just as their lecturers are eligible for research council grants. No minister can tell Buckingham what to teach or how to spend its money. Kealey thinks all universities should be like this.
The prevailing winds are in his favour. The idea of setting public bodies free from state control is increasingly popular with all political parties. Kealey thinks it is time for more private universities, and is exploring the idea with philanthropists. Meanwhile, established universities face severe funding cuts, restrictions on admissions and even closure.
Categories: Higher Education