The dust seems to be settling on many of the reforms announced in last year’s HE white paper but one topic still seems to get backs up: the perceived privatisation of HE and the growing number of private institutions.

So has the time come to stop seeing private providers as pariahs and accept them as a valuable part of a diverse HE sector, catering to a diverse group of students? And, as Patrick suggested in his blog, can we learn from the US in order to avoid making the same mistakes?

Join us at noon on Friday 11 May, to discuss the contribution of private HEIs to the sector. The live chat happens in the comment threads below. You can also have your say on Twitter using the hashtag #HElivechat.

Join the debate at the Guardian Higher Education Network