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Equity

Learning curve: debt markets step up to higher education

In a rash of deals over the past few years, UK universities, Oxbridge colleges and even schools are breaking with years of tradition and embracing the debt markets to hone their edge in competition with their domestic and international rivals. The experience has been overwhelmingly positive so far. Institutions that have taken the step into debt issuance — whether with public bonds or private placements — have found enthusiastic receptions from a broad range of investors. They have been able to lock in long maturities and low rates with bonds, or win tailored funding from private placements and the European Investment Bank. These are exciting times to be involved in higher education’s transition to capital markets — whether for university treasurers tapping new sources of funding, investors diversifying into a new array of high quality credits or arranging banks introducing a new sector to the market. GlobalCapital sat down in Oxford in March to talk shop with leading players at the heart of this new movement.

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