The UKeU ("UK eUniversities Worldwide Limited") was a company and website that promoted
onlinedegrees from UK universities. As such, UKeU was not a universityin its own right and ultimately was a dot-com failure. UKeU delivered courses over a learning environment developed by Sun MicrosystemsUK.It was set up with UK public funds under the auspices of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
In 2004 it was announced that the project should be wound up as it was a failure having cost £50 m and recruited only 900 students. These received some of the most expensive degrees in history at £56,000 each. A highly critical report [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmeduski/205/20502.htm] by the UK House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Skills was published in March 2005. In an accompanying press release, Committee Chairman,
Barry Sheermansaid: "UKeU was a terrible waste of public money. The senior executives failed to interest any private investors and showed an extraordinary over confidence in their ability to attract students to the scheme. Any private company which rewards underperformance of this scale would normally face severe criticism from its shareholders."
The URL of the UKeU was http://www.ukeu.com but the link no longer works as the company has ceased to operate and was finally wound up in mid 2006.
Details of the House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Skills, their UKeU report and the evidence they received can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/education_and_skills_committee.cfm
A collection of reports on UKeU can be found on the Higher Education Academy web site at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ukeureports.htm.
A collection of reports dealing with the run-up to when UKeU actually started can be found on the Higher Education Academy web site at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/2249.htm.
Two further volumes are in preparation for release.
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