Roy Anderson, rector del Imperial College, defendió la privatización de las universidades de élite del Reino Unido en una entrevista reciente para el Evening Standard.
Sir Roy Anderson, rector of Imperial College, said institutions including his own, as well as Cambridge and Oxford universities, should be freed from state control to allow them to charge students more than the current £3,140 capped fees and recruit greater numbers of international students to boost their income. (...)
The "top" universities – which would also include the London School of Economics and University College London – should be allowed to "float free" of government funding, he said. American Ivy league universities can charge up to $50,000 a year, but they offer large bursaries for students from poorer backgrounds.
Sir Roy said: "How important is higher education to UK plc? Staggeringly so. It is a multi-billion-pound industry. It is one of the few things we are world competitive in. If you take the top five universities, they have enormous potential to earn income for Britain. How best to do that? My own view would be to privatise them," he said.
Terence Kealy, vice-rector de la Universidad de Buckingham, escribió para el Adam Smith Insitute una propuesta de privatización gradual de las universidades. El documento tiene solo cuatro páginas, vale la pena leerlo entero: Transforming Higher Education (pdf).
Copio el párrafo introductorio y la conclusión:
The best universities in the world today are the independent universities in America. The gulf between them and the state-funded universities in equally rich countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Japan or South Korea (where there are few independent universities of note) is so huge that the lesson cannot be avoided: universities need independence to flourish. It is interesting that the intermediate group of universities (in terms of quality) are those in Britain and Australia where the universities, though funded and over-regulated by the state, nonetheless retain significant autonomy. A recent Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) systematic study of schools globally showed that the more autonomous they were, the better they were, and a review of universities globally reveals the same message. Our aim therefore must be independence. (...)
To conclude: it is not generally known that all British universities were independent until 1919. But in 1919, after four years of the Great War, inflation had destroyed their investments (many of which were in fixed-interest vehicles) and four years of no student fee income had destroyed their cash reserves. To avoid bankruptcy, the British universities were forced to apply for Government assistance, which originally came as grants administered by the University Grants Committee, but which has since mutated into effective nationalisation Consequently, the universities have been degraded. Their independence and their endowments need to be restored, but that should be done gradually by allowing them to raise their fees to those who can afford them and by encouraging them into fund-raising to help those students who need support.