Is our relationship with Gulf College changing?

QUESTION:

There are rumours about some changes regarding our relationship with our partner Gulf College this week, could you update us on what is happening please? And what is the potential loss of income, as the rumours are of many hundreds of thousands of pounds?

ANSWER:

Gulf College is one of our international partners and as a partner we have invested considerable support into the relationship to ensure that the partnership delivers high quality education to the students. Our staff have, and continue to, spent time in the Gulf to have confidence that the partnership operates safely and securely. Gulf College representatives have also visited us recently. We have become aware that Gulf College is considering whether it wishes to work with other UK HEI providers, but neither Gulf College nor any other UK University have approached us formally in respect of Gulf College’s future aspirations.

In respect of potential loss of income, the University has, for all its activities and not just partnership working, to consider the costs of an activity as well as the income that it generates, and therefore from time–to-time it may be appropriate to either cease or scale back an activity, where it does not make an appropriate contribution. Over recent months the University has been looking at all its existing partnerships, UK and overseas, to ensure that appropriate contributions are being made. An outcome from this work has resulted in changes (increases) to the fees we levy on our partners. The University has also been taking action to ensure that the income owed to us by our partners is paid promptly and in respect of Gulf College, there is work ongoing to ensure that they are up-to-date with payments.

In the event that the University’s partnership with Gulf College comes to an end, the University will seek to ensure that our Gulf Students are supported appropriately.

Why do we have partnerships in non-democratic countries?

QUESTION:
In recent years the University has formed partnerships in a number of states where the governments are worryingly far from democratic accountability, i.e. China, Oman and Sri Lanka. Does this reflect the style of leadership which the Exec is seeking to emulate?

ANSWER:
We are increasingly having to explore overseas markets due to the changing face of higher education. By working with our many partners, both at home and overseas, we aim to provide high quality, accessible higher education to a wide student base as part of our globalism agenda. We believe the additional benefits that successful partnership can bring and the subsequent rewards achieved by diverse partnerships include shared ideals, openness, mutual understanding and the willingness to learn from each other to transform lives, communities and businesses – important values which we strive to share with all our partners. The style of leadership for which we are looking is one that is open and honest and, that is keen to deliver the university plan. This is a leadership team that is committed to doing all it can to ensure the university and our staff and students are successful.