HEFCE presents more details of UKeU restructuring plans
Wilbert Kraan, CETIS staff
May 04, 2004

Following the restructuring announcement earlier this year, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced more details about the future of the troubled UK e-Universities (UKeU) project.

After disappointing numbers of applicants, and an increasing dearth of venture capital for tech projects, the UK e-Universities' main public funding body, the HEFCE, announced a scaling down and restructuring of the project in February.

Following consultation meetings at the end of last month, more details about the future direction of the project and its assets have been revealed.

The main aim of the restructuring is to maintain the development of good e-learning practice, but to anchor that in the UK's universities themselves. To that end, the e-China project, a UK - Chinese intergovernmental project to foster and exchange e-learning technology and practice, will be housed with an as yet un-named university. The £3 million funding of that project will continue. The UKeU's e-Learning Research Center, which aims to be a world-class research group in the field, is also to be managed by one or more academic institutions.

Other than that, the future of specific on-line courses and joint-ventures are subject to negotiation with the universities in which they were primarily based. A number of UKeU funded staff at various institutions are to be made redundant.

The future of the ca. £9 million learning environment the UKeU developed with Sun is still unclear, and part of "discussions with organisations in the public and private sector about its future use."

HEFCE will continue to review the restructuring plan.


The HEFCE press release.