CRITICS of plans to ‘privatise’ a Lancashire university – which has a campus in Burnley – will meet tonight to discuss their next move.

Vice-chancellor Malcolm McVicar has unveiled plans to convert the University of Central Lancashire from a corporation, limited by statute, to a private company, where he would be ‘chief executive’.

Unions fear it will obscure scrutiny of their decision-making process – and offer a pathway into higher education for private equity firms.

Michael MacNeil, higher education head of the University and College Union (UCU), will address a meeting at Greenbank lecture theatre, in Preston, as will Unison regional secretary Kevan Nelson, and TUC regional head Lynn Collins.

Mr MacNeil said: “Our universities’ reputations for excellence are built on the fact that education, not profit, comes first.”

The University and College Union has also launched an online protest petition.