It was good to read Diane Spencer's report, UK: Fears over privatisation (University World News, 13 July 2008). Very little attention has been given to the extensive relations that Australian and British public universities have with private for profit vocational and higher education providers. Yet these relations have developed remarkably strongly over the last two decades and seem to be expanding apace. Three questions occur to me.
1: Why have public universities developed such extensive relations with private for profit providers but, in Australia at least, not with public vocational education colleges?
2: Is this an instance of privatisation from within, and if so, what effect will it have on public institutions' internal governance and administration?
3: Are Australian and British universities developing two tracks for students' upward transfer from vocational education - a slow and uncertain track for publicly funded domestic students and a quick and predictable track for privately funded international students?
Griffith University, Australia