Universities are at risk of fraud says study

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THE total cost of fraud to universities is more than £1bn every year, a study has revealed.

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, PKF Accountants and business advisors compiled the report in the hope of helping reduce the amount of fraud.

Their report claims that universities perform poorly on a number of key measures and are the worst performers amongst public sector bodies.

Jim Gee, chairman of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, said: ‘Fraud can be hugely damaging to any organisation, but especially to universities at a time when the government is making serious reductions in expenditure and students are facing annual tuition fees of up to £9,000.

‘It is particularly worrying that less than 10 per cent of higher education institutions accurately estimate the cost of fraud.

‘This needs to be addressed as a top priority because loss estimates are important in developing a counter-fraud strategy.’