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Why are UK universities failing financially?

In this episode, the vice-chancellor of the UK University of East Anglia, David Maguire, joins UK director of Online Education Services, Andrea Burrows, to give an overview of the current university financial crisis in the UK.

Universities in the United Kingdom are struggling to afford to enrol their own home students ever since tuition fees were frozen in 2017 at £9,250 a year despite a growing 18-year-old cohort, rising inflation and increasing teaching costs.

Professor Maguire has worked at at eight universities since starting his career, and been vice-chancellor at four since 2017, when tuition fees were frozen.

He suggests one reason a university might fail financially is when its student numbers are falling faster than its competitors, damaging its reputation.

To overcome this, universities need to find a point of differentiation to avoid relying on a perception of prestige. His own university lives by the motto ‘do different’.

Professor David Maguire is the vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia in the UK. He has researched and worked in the fields of geographic information systems and higher education policyThe professor was vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich from 2011 to 2019, interim vice-chancellor of the University of Dundee in 2020 and at the University of Sussex from 2021-2022.

Andrea Burrows is the UK managing director for Online Education Services (OES), an education body that partners with universities across Britain and Europe to create ‘student-centric’ online learning. She has a professional leadership background in marketing, advertising and digital transformation across higher education, finance and professional service sectors.