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Union calls for inquiry on lending for private higher education

The University and College Union has requested that the Public Accounts Committee carries out an inquiry into how much public money is being spent on private higher education providers.

The request comes after reports emerged that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills had underestimated the number of students that would be recruited by private colleges and access loans to cover their fees. The situation has reportedly caused BIS to overspend by about £80 million in 2012-13 and means the department may now face budget cuts for future years. 

The Guardian reported on 28 November that the government had taken action to stop half of England’s private colleges, located mainly in London and the South-east, from recruiting any more students to study for higher national diplomas and certificates.

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