Reality dawns at last: UK eUniversity to be, er, restructured

Reality dawns at last: UK eUniversity to be, er, restructured

It’s been an open secret in the UK academic world for quite a while that Tony Blair’s ‘eUniversity’ project was a disaster. The only question was how long it would take officialdom to concede this. Now, it seems, the penny has dropped. Or, rather, the 62 million has dropped (that was the sum set aside by the government for this fatuous enterprise.) HEFCE (the body that funds UK universities) has just announced a ‘review’ of the eU. A tersely-worded statement (a classic example of the British mandarin’s mastery of euphemism, by the way) intimates that the plug has finally been pulled.

In the course of its miserable existence, the eU attracted a total of 900 paying customers. That works out at about 69,000 per student. It would have been cheaper to have given these folks 60k each and sent them to Harvard. And just in case you think I am being wise after the event, I gave a Keynote Address to a networking conference in Cambridge in the Spring of 2001 explaining why this venture was doomed. Heads should roll for this debacle, but somehow I doubt that they will for that is not the British Way. Instead, some cove who might otherwise have expected a knighthood will now be denied one.