Feeds

MPs condemn e-Uni disaster - again

'Disgraceful waste', etc

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The commons education select committee has roundly condemned the UK's failed e-University as a "disgraceful waste", confirming the 2004 opinion of Dr Ian Gibson, Labour MP and chair of science and technology committee at the Commons, that UKeU was a "shameful waste" of public money, and an "absolute disaster".

As we previously reported, UKeU was intended to act as a portal, selling other universities' online degree programmes. It was a joint venture between the government, the universities that signed up and Sun Microsystems, which provided the support platform.

The e-Uni was canned last year having cost the taxpayer £50m but with a roster of just 900 students. According to the BBC, Chief executive John Beaumont was "paid a bonus of £44,914, despite a failure to bring in private sector backers". The committee condemned this as "morally indefensible".

However, the government claimed that the project had "improved understanding". A Department for Education and Skills spokeswoman claimed UKeU was "ambitious and ground-breaking", and added: "UK e-Universities was not the only organisation to have lost out on private sector investment in the collapse of the dotcom boom."

The committee concluded that those behind the venture had caught a nasty dose of internet over-enthusiasm. Initial projections forecast 250,000 students within 10 years translating into a £110m profit. In the event, £4.2m went on marketing while a cool £14m went on getting the thing to work - to the benefit of just 200 students.

Committee chairman Barry Sheerman declared: "UK e-University was a terrible waste of public money. The senior executives failed to interest any private investors and showed an extraordinary over-confidence in their ability to attract students to the scheme."

In conclusion, the committee said that the government should "learn the lessons from this disaster" when splashing out cash on future projects. ®

Related stories

MP slams failed online university
UK Govt chucks £50m at e-learning

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.