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Bureaucrats demand more bureaucracy

It's a surprise, isn't it?

A think tank called the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has issued a report calling for regulation of private universities. According to the BBC:

Anthony McClaran, head of the Quality Assurance Agency - the UK's higher education standards watchdog - welcomed the report.

If you take a look at the HEPI site it's largely run by university people (although some outsiders, including Lord Oxburgh, are involved). If you look at its accounts you discover that much of its funding comes from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) - it is a fake charity in other words.

So what you see here is the Higher Education bureaucracy attempting to burden private sector providers with as much regulation as possible in order to prevent them from competing. The regulators who will benefit from all the extra work then pipe up and say what a good idea it is. It's naked self-interest and there is not even a hint of the truth on the BBC article.

Public self-servants eh?

(If I had time I'd take a closer look at HEPI - it appears that its chief excutive went from being head of policy at HEFCE to being head of HEPI (on £130k per annum), a body which we have seen derives much of its funding from HEFCE. )

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Reader Comments (8)

If private education was no good, it would rapidly lose its customers. Private education does not need the heavy hand of regulation. I agree with you that this is just more bureacracy to eliminate competition and strengthen the hand of the bureacrats.

May 7, 2011 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I wonder how many pies Lord Oxburgh has his fingers in? Josh?

May 7, 2011 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterPFM

Judging from the accounts it seems hard to understand why this is a charity or why successive governments have chosen to fund it. Low hanging fruit for Mr Osborne, surely.

May 7, 2011 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

bureaucrats demand more bureaucracy

It's a marvellous "industry"

You get to measure and rate your own performance and adjust the criteria if need be.

No need to worry about all that "demand" nonsense - just create more bureaucracy as and when required.

Eventually though, as with all unconstrained growth, the parasite eventually kills the host. Red tapeworm.

May 7, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

Regulation creates Monopolies
Regulation is Nationalisation without paying (a perceptive observation by Richard North)
Monopolies destroy competition and innovation.
No competition and costs rise.

Having worked in the private sector all my life I can state unequivocally that it works wonderfully. The only people that cannot understand this are bureaucrats and politicians in who self interest regulation resides.

May 7, 2011 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterpeter geany

"Public self-servants"

You've coined a great term for the gravy train we all complain about. Not the first to do so I note (~200,000 Google hits; "Civil self-servants" gets ~20,000 hits - chiefly due to a 1999 article by the Economist about the French Civil Service:, however, with a little bit of effort perhaps we can make it stick.

May 7, 2011 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterVerity Jones

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

At the moment, this old fool has three somewhat contradictory thoughts:

(1) Indeed, these people should be sacked and the bodies they work in disbanded. Who wants to spend a life advising governments about things they shouldn 't be involved in? Better things to do, I would hope!

(2) Maybe some regulation is required after all. How many of these so-called universities are selling pseudo degrees for exhorbitant fees to rich ignorant foreign fools? So speeding the more general decline in education that prejudices us all.

(3) But no forms on the matter to be filled in. Whenever parliament legislates and asks for returns showing how this and that requirement works out, such as, say, university fees received for selling first degrees by subject compared with the costs of providing the course, they should get the civil service to cost their inquisitiveness in terms of time and money spent doing the research and filling in the forms. Maybe they would decide the requirement will require too many university lecturer hours and the country will be better off if the government doesn't get its return. And so on about everything else.

May 7, 2011 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

James Delingpole will no doubt have more to say about regulation of privarte education.

May 7, 2011 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

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