Oxford University is to launch a bond for the first time in its history, aiming to raise at least £250 million to fund the academic future of the University.
J.P.Morgan has been appointed by the University to hold a series of investor meetings while it considers a possible debut offer to the bond market of at least £250 million, an Oxford spokesperson told Cherwell. The University stated that it would not comment further at this stage.
With a 100 year duration the bond is set to have the longest maturity of any bond from the UK university sector – longer than any other publically issued bond in UK history.
Funds raised from the sales of the bond will be spent on “long-term strategic projects and to further the academic mission of the university” said people familiar with the matter quoted in the Financial Times.
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis claimed however that the University resorting to “brutish” money markets to fund learning was a sign “there is something rotten in our educational system”.
While the central university has never before raised money through the sales of bonds, the method was pursued by University College in 2015. The college raised £40 million at an interest rate of just below 3.1%.
At the time Univ Estate’s Bursar Frank Marshall said he was “struck by the level of interest rates” and sought “an opportunity to bring in external capital for the long-term on good terms”.
Ever more of the British educational sector has followed suit since, with $1.8bn of bonds issued by UK schools and universities last year – the highest on record.