5 - Universities and investment


The Higher Education sector has been working hard to communicate the invaluable ways it contributes to UK society. BUFDG has contributed to this effort by supporting finance directors to improve financial communication, assisting the development of value reporting (in particular the use of Integrated Reporting <IR>), and developing our own educational materials. These materials include a series of six short videos exploring the value of universities. Please feel free to share them widely.


Video 5: Universities and investment

A University, in fact any organisation, has to adapt to thrive. The fifth video shows that investment does not just mean financial resources allocated to shiny new buildings, but to systems, people and community too.

That said, investment by universities in buildings is nothing new, as research for the fifth video in this series revealed a report in the Illustrated London News of 30th May 1846 of the opening of new facilities for the School of Practical Chemistry. The building was designed and constructed according to best practice at the time and housed the most up-to-date equipment for the use of the students and professors, amongst whom was Professor Thomas Graham – he of “Graham’s Law of diffusion”. As our research was, in the general scheme of research, superficial, it would not be right to suggest that had UCL not invested in that building in the 1840s, scientific discoveries would have been delayed. The point is that standing still is not an option but decisions must be made in context of an organisation’s ambitions.

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