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Establishment keeps NCH at bay

January 23, 2012

The BBC is reporting that the Intellectual Property Office has objected to the original proposal by New College for the Humanities to register its name as a trademark. Though no official grounds have been given, the suggestion is that the successful registration by New College, Oxford before Christmas (over 600 years after its founding) may have something to do with it.

A bigger issue for NCH is that it does not appear on the UK Border Agency’s list of trusted sponsors and is therefore currently unable to bring overseas students to the UK.

The NCH website reads:

“We are currently able to accept EU and EEA or Swiss nationals only at the moment. While we welcome international students, it is not yet clear whether NCH will be able to sponsor students who require visas for entry in 2012. We expect to have further information by early 2012.”

Without a track-record of teaching, NCH is unlikely to gain this status.  Since non-EU students were the obvious market for its overpriced offering, this has to mean trouble for whatever business plan it had.  He may have to follow Boris Johnson’s suggestion of playing upon the class prejudices of Oxbridge rejects.

To become viable, NCH will need some high-profile support but the government is keeping its distance. In a recent interview, Willetts commented: “if it’s going to cost as much as the fees they’re advertising, and be outside our loans scheme, then it looks as if it’s something that isn’t going to be available to the vast majority of people.”

Last week, Grayling is reported to have denied that NCH was ‘for-profit’.  It may not be making any profits soon or returns to its investors, but it is a company limited by share with all that signifies. 

Update 17 February 2012

Here’s a link to an interview with the BBC where Grayling states, “… technically, NCH is a not-for-profit organisation so that’s a misunderstanding …”.  This simply isn’t true.  NCH may not be making any profits any time soon, but it is a private company limited by shares and hence ‘for-profit’.  Here are the Companies House details.


From → NCH

  1. To think that Grayling used to write books about ethics. If the books had been any good this would be a tragedy. As its is, it’s a farce.

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