For the first time in history, Oxford University turns to the capital markets to sell £250m of 100-year bonds. Investor meetings are being arranged this week in London and Edinburgh by JP Morgan whom the triple-A rated university has hired.
It has become the most recent higher education institution in Britain to raise money for investment through international capital markets, as it plans to pay them back in 100 years time. Moody’s said the high rating reflected Oxford’s “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.
“Oxford has seen consistently strong demand from students, both domestic and international, which we expect to continue.”
“Downward pressure would be exerted on the ratings by a deterioration in Oxford’s strong market position, triggered by external pressures or weak strategic planning, resulting in lower student demand or an inability to attract research funding or high-calibre staff.
“Additionally, a significant weakening of operating performance including that of OUP could exert downward pressure on the rating.”
Oxford's annual research income, as stated by Moody, was higher than its peers, and the entire earnings were made by the performance of the Oxford University Press (OUP), which were 40% of the university’s income in 2016.