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Report says for-profit colleges have lower graduation rates

18 October 2017 | last updated: 19 October 2017

The rate of students who drop out of their studies at alternative providers of higher education is 15 percentage points higher than the rest of the sector, warns a report released today.

The report from the National Audit Office found that although the percentage of students dropping out had fallen, graduates from alternative providers - often privately run for profit - have lower rates of progression into employment or further study, and lower salaries than graduates of publicly-funded providers of higher education.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'We have serious concerns about the government's desire to open up the higher education sector to more for-profit alternative providers. In the US for-profit universities and colleges, such as Trump University, have been investigated for the mis-selling of qualifications to vulnerable students and their families.

'Our colleges and universities are a success story, but further privatisation could cause serious damage to their reputations and put our proud international standing for excellence at risk.'