Miliband joins Clegg in voicing discomfort with profit

By staff

Campaigners against profit in the education system today added Ed Miliband to their supporters after he criticised the idea at the TUC conference.

Delegates at the trade union meeting are expected to back a motion later which would condemn any attempt to divert public funding for higher education into the for-profit sector.

Mr Miliband's comments come just weeks after deputy prime minister Nick Clegg spoke out on for-profit education providers while attempting to soothe concerns in Lib Dem ranks about Michael Gove's free schools programme.

 “We are pleased that Ed Miliband has followed Nick Clegg’s lead from last week and come out strongly against a for-profit motive in education," said Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) general secretary Sally Hunt.

Campaigners said a recent white paper would allow for-profit companies currently being investigated by Congress in Washington to become involved in UK education via government–backed student loans.

A recent survey of 500 professors by the union found 85% believed for-profit providers would offer lower quality courses than public universities, if they were given the green light to expand.