Opinion – China’s education ministry warns qualifications of British universities – People’s Daily Online – John Gelmini

English: Zhang Yesui(Chinese Ambassador to the...

English: Zhang Yesui(Chinese Ambassador to the United States), his wife and Chinese overseas student in America 中文: 张业遂(中国驻美大使)夫妇与中国留学生 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf raises an interesting point.

Chinese students represent the biggest single group of foreign students in the country and an invaluable source of revenue which our universities cannot do without.

This is true of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Loughborough, Manchester, Warwick and Sheffield.

Unlike our students, these Chinese students pay full tuition fees and spend far more in the country than do our students.

I see them every day in Cambridge, have met a number of them in Loughborough and in Wuxi during my visit there in 2011.

This payment of full tuition fees happens because most of them have wealthy parents or parents who are important officials.

The Home Office under Mrs May is still not fit for purpose, in my view, and risks alienating these students and their parents by biting the hand that helps to feed these universities.

One day, they will be important people in their own right and they will remember what happened to them.

As usual, Mrs May and her holidaying boss David Cameron are acting with incredible arrogance and stupidity, especially as we want the Chinese to help fund our major infrastructure projects and build nuclear power stations at Hinckley Point in Somerset. Without these power stations, we will experience damaging blackouts of the kind we used to experience when the mine-workers were able to hold the country to ransom.

The two sets of events are not directly linked but if I can see what is going on so can the Chinese.

Already a consortium of British businessmen and businesswoman are lobbying the Government hard over the visa regime changes made by Mrs May which do not address the problems. These include the directors of Harrods, members of the British Retail Consortium and Willy Walsh CEO of British Airways.

The average Chinese tourist spends an average of £650 gbp per day more than anyone else who comes here but Mrs May and Cameron still do nothing.

Frankly we, in the UK, deserve better than these bumbling fools, currently in government in the UK, whose level of business acumen and commonsense resembles that of a lobotomized Armadillo.

At least in Obama’s US, the country recognize the economic benefit of China’s students who choose the US for their education.

John Gelmini

House of Commons – Major Projects Authority – Public Accounts Committee

English: East entrance of HM Treasury Français...

English: East entrance of HM Treasury Français : Entrée Est de HM Treasury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is well worth a read, if you are interested in how the UK public sector is managing major projects. Check it out!

via House of Commons – Major Projects Authority – Public Accounts Committee.

Most articles on this subject have erroneously reported that the PAC is proposing more power for the MPA. However, the MPA argue:

 …….while central assurance functions should be strengthened and its recommendations listened to, any changes must ensure that accountability for projects remains with ministers, accounting officers and Senior Responsible Owners (SROs), and is not diluted.

As an expert in delivering strategic change, with extensive hands-on experience of leading and rescuing major projects in the public sector, I see matters slightly differently. Let me share some of my own insights.

Firstly, I think that there is too much assurance and indirect costs that are not directly creating value. Surely, if the Treasury does not act on the recommendations of the MPA, the effectiveness of the MPA is questionable?

Secondly, another reason for excessive costs is scope change and intervention arising from political meddling.

Thirdly, the Mandarins or accounting officers are frequently risk averse, compared to their private sector peers – indeed the latter would be rewarded on a success fee.

Fourthly, the so-called Senior Responsible Owners (SROs) typically do not have the stature and power to protect their projects.

Fifthly, individual program and project directors spend too much of their time scoring and form filling, rather than delivering.

Sixthly, major projects are still far too depend upon major consulting firms, outsource companies and technology providers because the public sector do not have the skills in-house. Skills were always a problem but thanks to excessive austerity, the brightest and the best have often taken the money and found careers outside the public sector.

This blog is focused on the UK but the challenges are the same in public sectors around the world and in particular with the European Commission.

Overall, the there is an absence of strategic thinking, so that decisions are fudged in the interests of political expediency.

With too much austerity, there is now a paramount need for enormous public investment. But here comes the rub!

Let me turn this to an open question:

Surely the tax-payers would get greater value for money if the whole public sector was outsourced, with the exception of policy and strategic services?

Any views?