EXCLUSIVE: GCU New York Costs £5.5 Million To Run With No Students
7 December 2016, 06:28
Capital can reveal a Scottish university has spent more than £5.5 million running a New York campus which has no degree students.
Glasgow Caledonian University's base, which was opened by former First Minister Alex Salmond in 2013, is failing to cover its costs.
Despite having only four staff, wages bills rocketed every year and have cost £1.2 million in total since it opened.
The university has repeatedly failed to get a licence to teach degrees.
GCU NY bosses claim the base has been "forging successful business partnerships".
The University and College Union say its members at the campus in Glasgow are "outraged" at our findings.
Glasgow Caledonian University declined to do an interview with Capital - suggesting bosses had "nothing further to add".
In a statement, a spokesperson said: "Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is committed to an internationalisation strategy which will create stronger ties between the UK and the rest of the world, bringing investment into the UK economy, creating a significant number of jobs and offering broader educational experience and opportunities to its students.
"The University's investment in New York and London is based on being networked with the internationally recognised global hubs for the multi trillion-dollar industries of finance and fashion. No public funds are used in the initiative."
"During these early years of the investment, GCU NY has been forging successful business partnerships with 30 global leaders in the fashion industry, representing 211 brands and $200B in business."
We sent Capital reporter Mimi Chiahemen to GCU New York.
She spoke to people in the area who are baffled at all the flags and signage being removed from the building.
Carli and Rachel both work in an adjacent building.
Carli said: ''I know it used to be a Glasgow University. It did seem legitimate and now it's like a Grey Goose holiday market."
"The only reason I know it was affiliated with Scotland was because it had a big Scottish flag outside of it, it was here last week. So they just swapped it. It was the same size as this Grey Goose flag."
"The students were not really coming and going very frequently, but we did see people coming in and out occasionally.''
"No, I was surprised that they shut down because I thought that they were a school so I assumed that these guys [Grey Goose] were renting out the space."
Rachel said: "Mostly what we saw at the school were events in the evening and that's basically it."
Kerry Laster also works on Wooster Street. She said: ''I know that it used to be a university. I greeted some of the staff in the morning - when I come in, I come in early.''
''I don't know how long it had been here or any more specifics than that. I'd seen a lot of the flags and it seemed to have a lot of international flags in the building and as I said I'd greet some of the staff in the afternoon and early in the morning."
''I noticed probably a week ago that it started thinning out a little bit in terms of traffic and really I noticed today when I came in and saw this truck outside.''
''I was like, oh that's interesting they're going to have a Grey Goose truck outside of a university and then I kind of stood and said, 'it doesn't look like a university anymore', so I'm not sure what happened.''