Wednesday, 25 November 2009

National press coverage follows publication of the Melville Inquiry

The publication of the Melville report into the financial crisis at London Met has provoked national press coverage. In addition to the article in The Independent below, the report, which is highly critical of ex-Vice Chancellor Brian Roper and the senior management team, has been reported in The Guardian, The Telegraph, the Times Higher Education, the London Evening Standard, the Press Association and the BBC. More in The Independent here and here. See also commentary in The Tribune Blog.
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Monday, 23 November 2009

University accused of £36m student scam

University accused of £36m student scam

Governors urged to quit after college falsely claimed for thousands of undergraduates

The body which funds English universities has taken the unprecedented step of calling for the mass resignation of governors at a university accused of misusing public money.

A letter seen by The Independent from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) to the chairman of governors at London Metropolitan University calls on members of the governing body and senior staff to "consider their position".

Read the rest here...

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Saturday, 21 November 2009

We got our enquiry, now we want the results

In the long campaign for a public enquiry into the mess of London Met finances, we've finally got the report we wanted. See here and here for reports on the 'Dictatorial management style', vindicating the unions' position on who is to blame for the crisis.

It's worth remembering not only that we had been campaigning for all this to come out into the open, but that there have been several attempts to suppress previous, similar reports by repeatedly threatening legal action in the past (sometimes successfully) They have a habit of clinging on regardless of these damaging audits and reviews.

So the question now is what will the new VC, Malcolm Gillies, do about all this? Listen to the report and talk to the unions to try to move on? Or let management try to bury this and carry on with the cuts regardless? Answers on a postcard (or a 'comment' below) please ... More importantly, what can we do to make sure management don't get away with this all over again?

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'Financial shambles' at university (PA / BBC news)

Cash-crisis university criticised

A financial mismanagement report on a London university has found board members were aware unfair funding claims were made for the institution.

London Metropolitan University (LMU) was ordered to repay £36.5m after issuing false data on student numbers. (BBC News Online).


'Financial shambles' at university

Senior officials at London Metropolitan University must take responsibility for a financial shambles which has left the institution paying back millions of pounds of public funding, according to an independent review. (UKPA)

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Friday, 20 November 2009

Gillies to lead London Met

Former head of City named as new vice-chancellor

19 November
by Rebecca Attwood in Times Higher Education

Malcolm Gillies, who resigned as head of City University London in July, has been appointed the new vice-chancellor of troubled London Metropolitan University.

London Met has been forced to repay more than £36 million to the Higher Education Funding Council for England after major inaccuracies were discovered in its student-completion data.

Hefce has also reduced the university’s recurrent grant by £15 million.

The previous vice-chancellor, Brian Roper, left in March, and reports into the crisis have criticised the way the institution was managed and governed.

Last night, London Met’s board of governors appointed Professor Gillies to the role.

Read the full article here...
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London Met’s board bears responsibility (THES)

London Met’s board bears responsibility

20 November 2009

Report into overpayments to university finds top officials were aware of problems but took no action. Rebecca Attwood reports

Brian Roper, the former vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University, presided over a dictatorial management regime and must take “the major responsibility and culpability” for the fact that the university has been forced to hand back tens of millions of pounds in cash.

That is the conclusion of a review by Sir David Melville, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Kent, commissioned by London Met to investigate how the university came to massively overclaim from the Higher Education Funding Council for England after submitting inaccurate data about its students.

............ Read the rest here.

It's worth remembering our guide to commenting on the media here before getting too wound up by some of the strange comments over there.
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Friday, 13 November 2009

Lobby Board of Governors - 18th November

Students and Staff rally on 15th Oct. Photo (c) Guy Smallman

The Board of Governors meet on Wed 18th November - Tower Building, Holloway Road - 5pm

They are expecting to appoint a new Vice Chancellor for London Met. We need to make clear to the new VC and the Board our demands remain:

  • No job cuts!
  • No outsourcing!
  • No course closures!
  • Save our nursery!

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