Statement in response to Dispatches programme on university expenses

Issue date: 27 February 2018

For the UK to continue to develop a future knowledge-led economy and play a role on a global stage, it requires universities to build international relationships, both in terms of learning and teaching and research. UWE Bristol's international partnerships enhance the opportunities available to students and staff, in the UK and overseas, as well as providing much needed funding.

UWE Bristol is one of the largest universities in the UK, with nearly 30,000 students. Latest figures as of January 2018 show that just over 6,500 international students study degree programmes at UWE Bristol, at our campuses in Bristol and across 15 partner universities in 10 countries. These overseas partnerships are forecast to generate £27.8 million of income this year for the University.

A key part of the role of our senior team is to travel to our overseas partner institutions, to ensure the quality of the provision on offer, to support the students and staff at events such as graduation ceremonies, and to continue to look for and build new relationships and opportunities.

Our Vice-Chancellor also has a number of roles that require him to travel to London and other parts of the UK regularly, including his roles as HEFCE and Office for Students Board Member and Chair of Universities UK's Mental Health Working Group. His work in the Higher Education sector at a national level, the relationships this builds with business and industry leaders and the Government all bring benefits to students and the University.

We have always taken an open and transparent approach to the way our Vice-Chancellor and senior leadership team conducts business on behalf of the University. All expenses of senior staff are published on our website, along with full disclosure of the Vice-Chancellor's remuneration and benefits.

Our response to the Freedom of Information request from Dispatches was wholly transparent, disclosing full details beyond that which we were legally required. We are concerned that the conclusions Dispatches has made present an unfair and inaccurate portrayal of the University and the way it conducts its finances.

Sonia Mills, Chair of the Board of Governors, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)

Full letter response to Dispatches

Australia and Malaysia visit schedule

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