Posh Universities Demand Exclusion From Freedom of Information Rules

By Gary Cutlack on at

A consortium of the UK's top universities -- including Oxford, Cambridge, King's, Imperial and several other top educational hotspots -- have asked if they can opt out of having to be bound by our Freedom of Information rules as they're supposedly private institutions and not public bodies.

The demand has been made by the Russell Group of universities, which represents 24 of our most well known studying locations. They say complying with FoI rules somehow undermines their ability to compete with other privately-run schools, with the government's department of Business, Innovation and Skills said to be actively considering whether to yield to the request as part of a rejig of the FoI rules.

Matthew Hancock, the Minister with responsibility for the Freedom of Information system, is apparently against the idea of any further opting out of coverage, though, and with the 24 universities benefitting from a combined total of £4bn in annual investment, it's quite a big ask of them to be allowed to use this money in... secret.

The News Media Association claims it's found out -- through FoI requests -- that the 24 Russell Group unis employ a combined total of 284 "communications officers," whose jobs really ought to include at least a little bit of FoI work. [Press Gazette via Telegraph]

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