The Guardian homeWhat did we learn at this year's Guardian Future of Higher Education summit? That all universities are created private, but some are created more private than others.
We are so used to umpiring the tug of war between the respective defenders of public and private provision here on the Higher Education Network that it came as some surprise when the most heated debate at this year's Guardian's Future of Higher Education summit erupted between the private providers themselves.
The universities minister, David Willetts, had opened his morning speech insisting that "the value of higher education is both public and private", even as he went on to remind the audience of 200 senior higher education figures that "legally, all UK universities are in the private sector". It was a point picked up by Prof Terence Kealey, vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, the only member institution of Universities UK that receives no government funding. Read more...