Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Board resigns over funding crisis

The University and College union called on its board of governors to resign

The governing board of one of the country's biggest universities has resigned over a funding crisis.

London Metropolitan University (LMU) has been forced to pay back more than £36m in funding it claimed for students who had not completed their courses.

The money will be paid back to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which will cut funding by £15m this year.

There are currently more than 34,000 students at the university.

The university fears the claw back could see that student number reduced by a third.

Individuals on the board of governors have told BBC London they were "bullied" into resigning by the HEFCE.

Additional funding

They said they feared additional funding would not be forthcoming unless they agreed to the HEFCE's terms.

They said the decision to reclaim such a large sum of money would "smash the government's widening participation agenda."

A joint statement issued by LMU and HEFCE said an investigation would start into whether or not senior staff should be disciplined because of the affair.

It said: "Both parties are equally concerned to ensure that there are effective governance and management arrangements in place, providing confidence in the university's ability to ensure the proper stewardship and use of public funds.

"The wellbeing of students, the motivation of staff and the establishment of an effective system of governance and management will be our focus in moving forward."

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University must prove 'adequacy'
15 Dec 09 |  London

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