Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

UEL's Annus Horribilis Continues as Overseas Exams Venture Is Scrapped: News

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

UEL's Annus Horribilis Continues as Overseas Exams Venture Is Scrapped: News

Article excerpt

The University of East London faces a Pounds 600,000 loss from the collapse of an overseas examinations venture, the latest in a series of blows to the institution.

University of East London Global Examinations Board, a subsidiary company of UEL, has been wound up after losing Pounds 324,000 in one year, compared with a forecast loss of just Pounds 50,000.

UEL governors have been warned of possible "reputational risk to our university" as a result of the company's failure.

UEL Global Examinations was set up in August 2011, when former vice- chancellor Patrick McGhee was still in charge of the university.

Professor McGhee left UEL on health grounds in January this year during a period of turmoil for the institution over Christmas and the new year.

John Shaw, UEL's pro vice-chancellor international, and Nirmal Borkhataria, pro vice-chancellor and director of finance, also resigned between the end of December and the end of January.

In April, it emerged that UEL was closing its Cyprus campus after recruiting just 17 students in the first six months of operation.

The campus had a projected cost of Pounds 1.3 million.

Following the Cyprus debacle, UEL commissioned Sir David Melville, former vice-chancellor of Kent and Middlesex universities and current chairman of Pearson Education, to undertake a confidential review of the university's international activities.

It seems likely that Sir David's report also covered the exam company. However, a UEL spokeswoman would only say that the report is "confidential and is not available externally ... to protect the university's commercial interests". …

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