16 April 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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UNITED KINGDOM
UK: Governors urged to quit after £36 million student scam
The body which funds English universities has taken the unprecedented step of calling for the mass resignation of governors at a university accused of misusing public money, write Lucy Hodges and Richard Garner for The Independent. It follows two damning reports which revealed that London Metropolitan University falsely claimed funding for thousands of students. As a result it has been ordered to repay £36 million (US$60 million) in funding – which is expected to lead to hundreds of job losses among academic staff.

A letter seen by The Independent from the Higher Education Funding Council for England to the chairman of governors at London Metropolitan calls on members of the governing body and senior staff to "consider their position". They were given six days to respond.

The reports – from Sir David Melville, former vice-chancellor of Kent and Middlesex universities and from the accountancy firm Deloitte, found that London Metropolitan failed to keep track of students or ensure they sat exams. As a result it continued claiming funding from the government on the basis of an artificially low drop-out rate, getting funding for far more students than were attending the university. Its failure to keep track of the students meant that many would not get the kind of help they needed to stay on their courses.
Full report on The Independent site
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