And what will it mean for UK education standards, which the Conservative Government is allegedly trying to improve?
Startup universities could be given degree-awarding powers from the first day they open their doors to students, under government proposals to fast-track the establishment of new “challenger institutions” offering cheaper and less traditional courses.
The higher education white paper to be published on Monday by the universities minister, Jo Johnson, sets out the Conservatives’ latest attempt to impose competition within the sector by attracting new non-profit and commercial operators with a short-cut to full university status.
The move is also a sign of the government’s frustration at the rigidity of existing universities, which have largely stuck with offering conventional undergraduate degrees and in England charge £9,000 annual fees.
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