Accounting for education

20.03.11: YESTERDAY'S sale of the London School of Economics to the international accountancy firm Arthur Andersen has sparked fresh controversy over the government's handling of tertiary education.

The LSE site and buildings in central London have been valued at more than $1billion. A high percentage of LSE graduates are employed by City firms, many of which have opened their own colleges and training institutions.

While Arthur Andersen say that it has no intention of changing the content or nature of the courses available at the LSE, one senior academic said: 'Intellectual pursuit can only be endangered by corporate interests.' There are rumours of approaches by corporate buyers to other educational institutions, including the London Business School and Imperial College. PF

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