Low-risk Lancaster

July 20, 2007

Lancaster University was one of the 46 institutions listed in national newspaper stories that made reference to a historical list of universities being monitored by the Higher Education Funding Council for England due to their poor financial performance.

This is misleading given that Lancaster is now in the top quartile of UK institutions for financial health and this year has had its credit rating raised to "A" from "A-" by Standard & Poor's. Lancaster is one of only a few UK universities to have a public credit rating.

Since 1997, the university's income has grown from £74 million to Pounds 145 million, and over the same period the university has generated a recurrent surplus of about 4 per cent.

Lancaster had a major problem that was extraordinarily well and transparently managed ten years ago. Following the implementation of a recovery plan that began in 1996, it was placed into Hefce's lowest-risk category in 2000.

Paul Wellings
Lancaster University

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