This is the third in a series of three linked articles describing the major changes which are taking place in English public sector higher education as a result of the Education Reform Act 1988. The new Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council had introduced a radically different system of competitive tendering which, although it was being brought in incrementally was already having a significant impact on institutional management. The way in which the competitive tendering exercise was operated and its outcomes is examined. The conclusion is that this exercise was an important development in the fundamental redirection of higher education in Britain.
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