University ethics might also be a consideration for choice.

A recent investigation by the Daily Mail indicated that at least 24 universities, all members of the university’s Russell Group, have hired wealth screening investigators since 1997 to snoop on millions of former students to establish their suitability as potential donors, looking at their income, class and likelihood of leaving money to the university when they die.

A number of charities that similarly snooped on potential donors, usually without their knowledge, were deemed to have broken the law and were fined earlier this year. The Information Commissioners Office, with the backing of the Department for Education is now launching its own investigation into the universities, which could leave them facing huge fines.

The shamed universities of the Russell Group setting a bad example to others are: Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Imperial College, Kings College, Leeds, Liverpool, LSE, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Queen Mary, Queens Belfast, Sheffield, Southampton, UCL, Warwick, and York.

Some of the main objectives of the Russell Grouo are to maximise the income of its members and to reduce government interference, presumably in such tiresome matters as data misuse and advertising claims. There is no requirement for members to improve ethical standards.

Leave a Reply