BPP becomes UK’s first private university college in three decades

BPP College of Professional Studies has been named as the UK’s first new private sector university college for more than 30 years.

The minister of state for universities, science and skills David Willetts announced today that the institution is to become BPP University College with immediate effect.

Willetts said: “It’s healthy to have a vibrant private sector working alongside our more traditional universities. International experience shows a diverse range of higher education providers helps widen access, focuses attention on teaching quality and promotes innovative learning methods, such as web-based distance learning.”

This is the first time a private institution has been awarded the University College title since Buckingham University College – now the University of Buckingham – was created in 1976.

As reported by The Lawyer last year, BPP’s long-term goal of transforming itself into a full-blown university was thrown into jeopardy after its US parent Apollo Group was investigated by the SEC in connection with accounting irregularities (23 November 2009).

BPP became the first privately owned company to receive degree-awarding powers in September 2007 and has since launched an undergraduate law degree that attracted 100 students in its first year.