The Commons Education Committee has condemned the government's scheme to teach degree courses over the internet as a 'disaster' and a 'waste of public money'.
The UK e-University cost £50 million but attracted just 900 students when it launched in September 2003, instead of the 5,600 planned. It had to be wound up within six months after it secured less than one per cent of the private sector investment needed to keep going.
None of this prevented its four top directors being handsomely rewarded. According to the the Telegraph:
"Sir Anthony Cleever, who is also the chairman of the Medical Research Council which distributes research grants, earned £70,000 plus a performance bonus of £12,216.
John Beaumont, a former professor at Stirling and Bath universities, joined the university from the board of Energis. He was paid £180,000 and a bonus of £44,914.
Elizabeth Selver, the finance director, was at Camelot, the Lotto operator, before joining UKeU in 2002. She earned £95,000 plus a bonus of £33,271. Prof David Unwin, the director of learning programmes...received £40,308 for six months' work plus a bonus of £11,369."
Nice work if you can get it.