Pearson enters British higher education market by launching UK business degree course
Leading international publishing and educational firm Pearson is to launch its own private higher education college offering degrees in business.
Pearson College will launch in September and will offer around 40 places in London and Manchester to what it describes as “the brightest and most entrepreneurial students”.
The course – offered both as a standard three-year program or an accelerated program taking just two years – will cost around £6,500 a year, less than the maximum £9,000 which some universities will be charging from September.
The courses will boast guaranteed internships and will provide company-based mentors for its students, who will have to achieve an A and two Bs at A-level to meet the course’s minimum requirements.
The managing director of the college, Roxanne Stockwell, explained Pearson College’s strengths and aims. She said: “Our degrees are designed by business, delivered with business, for students who are serious about succeeding in business… We have a network of blue chip industry relationships.”
Unlike some private colleges, Pearson College will not have the power to award its own degrees, so students will have their course “under-written” by Royal Holloway and Bedford New College –members of the University of London.
The creation of a private or for-profit higher education system is a controversial issue in the UK. Sally Hunt, leader of the UCU lecturer’s union, said: “Opening the door to for-profit companies in higher education is very risky… given this government’s failure to regulate provision and monitor courses run by private providers.”
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which put out a higher education white paper last year which laid out plans for a more competitive and varied higher education system, seems to support the move.
A spokeswoman explained: “We want a diverse, competitive HE sector that can offer different types of higher education, giving students the ability to choose between a wide range of providers.”