Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

From Frying Pan INTO Fire

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

From Frying Pan INTO Fire

Article excerpt

Regarding "INTO the deep for debt-hit 'dolphin'?" (News, 8 November): we would like to clarify a few points. First, the University of Gloucestershire's finances are improving, due in the main to sterling work by Paul Hartley, its previous vice-chancellor, and it is on track to make an operating profit of around Pounds 3 million for 2012-13. Second, its ratio of profit to debt (gearing) is much improved, as acknowledged by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

The future of the university depends, among other things, on wise financial investment. We do not believe a partnership with private company INTO is a wise move. As far as the University and College Union can establish, there has been no real modelling of alternatives with considerably less risk attached. As much as Pounds 10 million is being risked by the university in the partnership, but very little by INTO.

Furthermore, there has been a panic reaction by Gloucestershire's senior management to what was inevitably going to be a difficult year for most universities following the introduction of the higher fees regime. …

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