Feeds

MPs condemn e-Uni disaster - again

'Disgraceful waste', etc

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?