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Gap in capital spending revealed

Capital expenditure is spread unevenly across higher education institutions despite a record £3-billion spent on building in 2016-17, according to an estates and facilities body.

The Association of University Directors of Estates’ report for 2018, which analyses trends in higher education using data from the Higher Education Statistics Association, showed that £3bn of capital building took place in 2016-17—the highest since records began in 1996.

However, only Large Research Institutions—defined as those which generate more than 20 per cent of their income from research and have an academic income greater than £300 million—accounted for the increase. This group, formed by the likes of the Universities of Cambridge and Birmingham, saw their capital expenditure jump from £1.25bn to £1.35bn since 2015-16.

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