Anyone else see the headlines re 3 unis possibly on the verge of bankruptcy????

(61 Posts)
CartwheelCath Sun 04-Nov-18 21:57:37

Any one else see this in the news?

The papers say 2 south coast universities are amongst the 3. My ds has 3 south coast unis down on his UCAS application. How concerned should we be?
Anyone else concerned at all?

BBC news link

OP’s posts: |
CartwheelCath Sun 04-Nov-18 22:00:13

Trying again to add BBC news link
BBC News - Would a university really be allowed to go bust?

OP’s posts: |
MrSlant Sun 04-Nov-18 22:04:48

I wouldn't be surprised if a few were struggling, DS1 went this year and his course is low in numbers compared to previous years and I think overall there was a big dip in people applying. At the open days there was a perceptible air of pick me pick me dance from the people in charge. Worked well for us as he's on a really good course I don't think he would have got into in previous years <shallow>!

TheRealHousewifeofCheshire Sun 04-Nov-18 22:05:18

Yes. Universities have gone bust in the past its due to poor financial planning

TheFirstOHN Sun 04-Nov-18 22:07:39

I suspect that there are more than three universities in this position. Apart from a few oversubscribed insitutions at the top of the league tables and certain oversubscribed courses (e.g. medicine and veterinary medicine), many universities are struggling to fill their places.

There was a dip in the birth rate in 2001-2002, which is likely to reduce the number of applicants for the next couple of years.

TheFirstOHN Sun 04-Nov-18 22:18:15

Worked well for us as he's on a really good course I don't think he would have got into in previous years

DS1 was accepted onto a History course at a 1994 group university with grades below his offer. I doubt he would have got in with those grades three years ago and I suspect applicants won't be accepted with those grades in five years time (when there will be more 18 year olds).

DS2 will be applying next year, so may also benefit from the supply of university places being greater than the demand. He is capable of achieving high grades, and is hoping that the most selective universities will be slightly less oversubscribed than in previous years.

LoniceraJaponica Sun 04-Nov-18 22:20:28

One of DD's friends is at a university in the north west. I hadn't even heard of it until earlier this year. They were still advertising for places in clearing even after the universities had started in September.


TheFirstOHN Sun 04-Nov-18 22:23:37

CartwheelCath when he gets his offers and needs to decide which two to accept, he can think about it then.

Roughly speaking, I would imagine that the institutions likely to be more financially stable are the older universities and the universities with higher numbers of applicants per place.

RednotWhite Sun 04-Nov-18 23:27:57

Hope to God Sussex isn’t one of them hmm.

FanSpamTastic Sun 04-Nov-18 23:42:39

You can look up the financial statements for universities.

Sussex had £361m of net assets and made a £13m surplus before pension gains in 2016/17 - check here.

I will be checking the financial statements of any universities my dc think of going to.

FanSpamTastic Sun 04-Nov-18 23:44:28

Sorry - that link did not seem to work! Try this?

titchy Mon 05-Nov-18 08:08:44

I would imagine that the institutions likely to be more financially stable are the older universities

You'd be surprised. Some of those have borrowing that would make your eyes water, while a lot of the post-92s are financially very cautious.

Sussex isn't one of the three.

Rufusthebewilderedreindeer Mon 05-Nov-18 08:14:10

Ds1 is at an attractive university (one of the markers in the daily mail for NOT being a university in danger)

But it is close to a very successful bigger university...which is one of the markers for it BEING a university in danger


Xenia Mon 05-Nov-18 08:21:34

I presume it is those which are not so popular - ex polys with very low entry requirements and a lot of people dropping out. As the better ones have had their numbers cap removed for peopel with AAB grades they can increase numbers on the courses for which their is huge demand from those keen to go there and I suspect that along with student fees has meant those ones easier to get into and less popular have had fewer applicants as their institutions do not look as good on CVs.

user2222018 Mon 05-Nov-18 08:21:40

Titchy - while it is true that pre 92 universities have taken out large loans and bonds, you cannot possibly be suggesting that these are the vulnerable institutions.

All of the HE sector is under stress (except perhaps Oxbridge) due to the perfect storm of Brexit, frozen tuition fees, demographic dip, increased pensions costs, costs of ever increasing regulation (TEF etc), costs of providing mental health support to students which should be provided by the NHS and so on. Many higher ranked universities are indeed looking for cost savings. But you don't get 40 year bonds without proving that your finances are very, very solid.

The vulnerable institutions for actually going bankrupt are small, post 92 institutions that many people on here wouldn't have heard of.

Rufusthebewilderedreindeer Mon 05-Nov-18 08:26:49

Oh my god user is not helping me at all grin

Its a small post 92 uni

But i bet people have heard of it

Ds1 is in year 2 <wails again>

titchy Mon 05-Nov-18 08:41:27

you cannot possibly be suggesting that these are the vulnerable institutions.

Not in this case no. But I am challenging the notion that pre-92 = secure finances and post-92 = verge of bankruptcy.

As I said look at the mortgages some of the older grander institutions have.... Some are not sustainable long term

chocatoo Mon 05-Nov-18 09:00:11

I am not at all surprised. All sorts of odd unis, offering odd courses have cropped up over the last decade. I haven't been able to see how they would be sustainable for a while.

BubblesBuddy Mon 05-Nov-18 09:05:26

So will those in the know on this thread state the 3 in trouble instead of this cat and mouse debate. Some people would like to know!

titchy Mon 05-Nov-18 09:07:49

There's another thread bubbles naming them. I'd be uncomfortable posting the institutions tbh.

Chocolala Mon 05-Nov-18 09:22:39

I’m just surprised it’s not london met.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Mon 05-Nov-18 09:24:11

Not entirely surprising and I doubt they will be the last to run into financial difficulty. People will be paying a lot more attention to the employability certain degrees offer and will vote with their feet. Gone are the days when school leavers could doss at uni for a few years while they decided what they wanted to do with their lives and instead are actually doing a cost benefit analysis of whether the student debt incurred is worth it in the long run.

RednotWhite Mon 05-Nov-18 09:29:26

FanSpamTastic Thanks for that link. Very useful, have been looking up other unis as well.

Titchy Please can you name this other thread please?

RednotWhite Mon 05-Nov-18 09:33:15

This is all very cloak and dagger. If their accounts are in the public domain then surely they can be named? or have they been reported as going concern erroneously and they've nose dived in the current financial yr? confused

Rufusthebewilderedreindeer Mon 05-Nov-18 09:51:14

Might be this one red

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