Oxford University to raise £250m with first ever bond

Oxford University is to issue its first bond by the end of the year in order to raise £250m, using JP Morgan to arrange investor meetings.

The world-famous university is set to offer 100-year bonds to the market following drastic cuts in government funding and hikes in tuition fees for students.

The bond will have the longest maturity of any issued by a university in the UK, the Financial Times has reported.

The announcement came on the same day Moody’s rated the university with a Aaa, adding that the outlook for the rating was “stable”.

The rating agency said: “The Aaa issuer rating assigned to Oxford reflects its extraordinary market position as one of the world’s elite universities, ensuring consistent student demand and wide-ranging support from the government, donors, and research funding bodies.

“The rating also reflects Oxford’s position as a world-leading research institution, attracting significant funding and leading academics, in addition to the University’s strong balance sheet with a large endowment and low leverage.”

It added: “Higher education ratings in England also benefit from the strong regulatory framework of the English higher education sector, as directed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).”

The total number of students studying at Oxford hit 22,602 in 2016.

Moody’s put its credit quality down to its “exceptional market position, diversified revenues, and resilient balance sheet”.

It is believed Oxford will expand its fundraising efforts in the future.

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