I wrote the other day about the steady reductions in tax-payer funding from to the Higher Education Academy [HEA] from the Higher Education Funding Council for England [Hefce]. One consequence of this is that when the funding stops entirely, so will the letters to HEA from Hefce telling it what its priorities might be: There are consequences to this cutting loose of the HEA: No money – No contract – No letter – No guidance.
Given that these letters, and the guidance (instructions) they contain, have essentially come down from the government (with Hefce as courier), this means that the HEA will, in effect, be free of a major source of political and public influence, which seems odd, given its role. And where influence falls away, so does accountability. What will a privatised HEA look like? Meaner and leaner, no doubt. What will it do? Will it have even less interest in sustainability? We shall see.