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The Future Of Higher Education: Facebook Universities And An Increase In Fees

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Illustrated by Sydney Hass
Thanks to a new government crackdown on universities in the UK, companies like Facebook, Google and Apple might begin to open educational institutions. The new measures, which will ostensibly raise teaching standards, imply higher tuition fees for students.

In a White Paper announced today, new rules will demand universities to release data on the amount of class and lecture time students receive, as well as listing the jobs their graduates gain and how much they earn in a bid to stamp out sub-standard courses.

The paper, put together by the higher education department is set to publish a new White Paper titled "Success as a Knowledge Economy" that looks to decrease "low-value" degrees which in the long term, offer little to students by way of employability.

What this paper implies is that "challenger institutions" (read as companies with enough money) will be able to award degrees if they meet national standards. Ministers predict that this will pave the way for the likes of Facebook and Google to open universities.

Alarmingly, it's likely that institutions that score highly will be able to charge more than the current £9,000 tuition fee cap, sparking increased anxiety about the already rising percentage of graduates with huge amounts of debt.

Sorana Vieru, National Unions of Students (NUS) vice president for higher education, told The Press Association, “My concern is that these institutions could be short lived and that students who have been promised the opportunity of getting a degree could end up in institutions that end up folding because they are a business enterprise – an experiment.”

While on the surface, a report like this would seem a positive step in the face of a high demand for skilled graduates that's currently going unfulfilled, critics will no doubt see this as a massive step towards the privatisation of education, and as an avenue for big business to run a profit off the back of the UK's education system.
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