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Glasgow Caledonian University spends £3m on New York campus

Glasgow Caledonian University spends £3m on New York campus

The set-up costs of Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) NY campus have reached £3.38m so far, according to figures obtained by Holyrood.

An FoI request shows that just under £2m has been spent on leasing the site in Manhattan and £270,000 on staffing costs. A further £1.15m was spent on unspecified costs.

But GCU stressed that none of the initial funding had come from public funds: “The university has funded the initial investment in GCU NYC from the surpluses generated from its significant non-governmental income streams. As was the case in setting up the successful London campus, no money from the public purse has been used in establishing GCU NY. In line with the business plan GCU NYC will be self-sustaining in the medium term.”

Mary Senior, Scotland Official for the University and Colleges Union, questioned the decision to invest in a campus abroad: “With a campus already in London the university need to be clear why they are setting up another and ensure that there are sound educational and business reasons rather than it being simply a vanity project. Staff in campuses outside the UK must also be treated fairly and on comparable terms and conditions with their colleagues in Scotland,” she said.

The NY campus, opened by Alex Salmond in April, is a first for a UK university. It follows the opening of GCU London in 2010.

At the time of the launch, in September 2013, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU, Professor Pamela Gillies, said: “Extending our global network is vital to GCU’s future growth and New York will play a pivotal role in this. GCU New York will provide an important opportunity for us to work with new academic and business partners; will significantly raise our international profile; and will offer valuable exchange opportunities to students and staff on both sides of the Atlantic.”

She continued: “GCU will be the first British university to open a campus in New York and it will be modelled closely on our highly-successful GCU London campus. We were also the first Scottish university to launch a base in the capital and, like London, GCU New York will adopt a pioneering approach, evolving business relevant content and new teaching methods to complement the digital age.”

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