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Credit crunch cuts Oxford’s assets

A recent survey has concluded that estimates over £100 million of Oxford’s endowments has been lost due to the credit crunch

The survey has concluded that British universities will lose as much as 15% of their wealth as the economic recession lowers the value of land and shares.

For Oxford, this figure would suggest around £102 million of the university’s £680 million would disappear. If a similar loss hit the endowments of the colleges, total losses could be over £500 million.

A university spokesman said, “we believe the university has sound policies in place to mitigate the impact of any longer term declines. Higher education remains a vital investment for the future.”

These setbacks come after Oxford embarked on a massive campaign for funding last year. This aimed to raise £1.25 billion to help the University compete with wealthy American rivals. Among the projects university administrators hoped to fund were the development of the old Radcliffe Infirmary site and new buildings for the Bodleian.

University Vice-Chancellor John Hood said at the time that his team, “must significantly increase the University’s endowment.”

It is unclear how much of the funding gained in the campaign will be cancelled out by the effect of the credit crunch.

Oxford also had £30 million invested in the collapsed Icelandic banking system. It is uncertain whether this will be restored to the University.

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