The University Alliance, launched just four months ago, has not got off to the best of starts. The grouping of universities that have not found a home with the Russell or 1994 groups or the CMU's modern universities, which was previously convened as the Alliance of Non-Aligned Universities, consists of 23 institutions. Or it did until this week, when Cranfield University confirmed its withdrawal. The Institute of Education is also considering pulling out. Sources have said that Cranfield, as a postgraduate university, just did not feel aligned to the non-aligned alliance.