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University of Reading dismisses financial concerns

The University of Reading says its finances are in a 'sound position', despite claims from a national newspaper its facing a crisis.

However, a spokesperson has confirmed an investigation into whether it improperly benefited from the sale of certain is to going to be carried out.

The investigation will look into the details of the sale of land belonging to the National Institute for Research in Dairying trust.

It has also referred itself to the regulator the Office for Students, to see whether there is a conflict of interest.

A University of Reading spokesperson issued this statement:

"The Guardian has reported that the University of Reading is reviewing the details of sale of land belonging to the National Institute for Research in Dairying trust and the University’s finances more generally. We do not recognise this as an accurate representation of the University’s finances.

"The article also highlights a number of challenges facing the UK university sector in general, along with other financial issues that the University of Reading is currently dealing with, and suggests that this is symptomatic of wider problems in the UK university sector.

"The University of Reading is in a sound position following changes to the UK higher education sector over the past decade, and has robust plans in place to deal with current and future challenges.

"The University has expanded student recruitment by more than 30% over the past five years. We have continued to grow our global presence, with more students coming to our UK campuses from overseas, and experienced ongoing growth with international partners. Our world-class research profile has continued to grow, with a record level of research income awarded to Reading in 2017-18. We are ranked among the top 200 universities in the world.

"The University is confident that it has responded appropriately to the issues relating to the sale of land that formed part of the assets of the National Institute for Research in Dairying trust. The details have already been set out in the University’s published financial statements.

"The appropriate governance arrangements are now in place relating to the university’s management of the trust and this matter has no wider implications for the university’s ongoing financial position.

"We remain a respected institution with excellent teaching and research and the University is in a strong position to meet the future with confidence."

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