Controversial for-profit college goes bust leaving students stranded
31 July 2019 | last updated: 1 August 2019
GSM London has told students that all tuition, classes and exams would stop at the end of September
GSM London – one of the largest for-profit private providers of higher education in England – has gone into administration, leaving students stranded on unfinished courses. GSM was one of the colleges that featured in a recent Panorama expose about fraudulent applications for student loan money. GSM is ultimately owned by the private equity firm Sovereign Capital and awarded degrees validated by the University of Plymouth.
Times Higher Education reported that GSM had been awaiting a decision from the Office for Students on whether it would be included on the regulator’s register of providers. Exclusion from the register of providers would have meant losing access to publicly funded student loans for its students. Times Higher Education said it is thought that the OfS had concerns about the level of dropout rates at GSM and its financial position.
UCU acting general secretary Paul Cottrell said: ‘UCU has repeatedly highlighted concerns about the marketisation of education and the rapid increase in poorly regulated private providers. We hope that the government will now look again at the funding free-for-all among private providers. These private providers enjoy a competitive advantage in being under-regulated, but always put profit before education.’