Feeds

MPs condemn e-Uni disaster - again

'Disgraceful waste', etc

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.