As one of the UK's principal private providers of student accommodation, I take issue with "PPP doubts as halls plan flops" ( THES , September 20) on the viability of private-public partnerships as a solution to the higher education funding crisis.
Jarvis University Partnerships Programme has been operating for five years and has invested more than £200 million in higher education. Such provision of funds, which would otherwise not have been available, allows universities to concentrate on core activities such as teaching and research. We maintain many successful partnerships with universities across the UK and have in operation, under management or at preferred bidder stage, more than 18,000 rooms at 13 university sites. Our partnerships are for the long term, in excess of 25 years, and crucially our university partners retain the freeholds of their estates.
Private sector investment allows for the diversion of funds for long-term strategic aims to the benefit of students and staff. Private organisations can also provide knowledge and expertise to build and maintain halls of residence, taking the long-term maintenance and demand risks away from universities.