The University of Law has been sold to Global University Systems (GUS), owner of nine educational institutions.
GUS purchased ULaw for an undisclosed sum from owners Montagu Private Equity, just three years after Montagu purchased the former charity for around £200m. Shortly after the sale, the former college acquired university status.
GUS’ most well-known institutions include the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) and St Patrick’s International College, which is the UK’s largest private school.
ULaw’s board will remain, with provost John Latham retaining his role and and will be joined by former education minister and home secretary David Blunkett in the role of chairman.
In a joint statement ULaw and GUS said that that the university would continue to work “as a distinct academic institution” and retain its “strong governance structures”.
They added: “Immediately post completion, GUS will initiate a strategic options review of all its UK regulated businesses. That review will consider the optimal structure for the combined ULaw and GUS UK group.”
GUS may also realign some of its existing UK busineses under ULaw’s umbrella, so that the “ultimate oversight of academic standards, quality systems, processes and practices rests with the university”.
The statement continued: “The change of ownership will make available to the university substantial additional capital and enable it to accelerate delivery of existing plans for further growth, diversification, and geographic expansion.”
GUS-owned St Patrick’s came under fire this year when it was suspended from the Student Loans Systems in February after criticism from the higher education watchdog. It was re-admitted in May and told to address issues such as a 30 per cent drop out rate.
In addition, 20 lecturers at LSBF rebelled last year in response to the school’s “chaotic” organisation, “lack [of] basic teaching resources” and its policy of “[maintaining] disruptive students on its books to keep the income they generate flowing in”.
Travers Smith priavte equity head Paul Dolman advised the university on the sale. Corporate and tax lawyers were also involved.
The university declined to comment further.
(6 February 2014) Commercial dynamo Savage waves goodbye to University of Law
(12 September 2013) New Provost for University of Law as Savage steps aside
(25 March 2013) Student fee fears at University of Law takeover
(18 December 2012) College of Law sale completes
(22 November 2012) College of Law rebranded University of Law