London: At least five British universities have pulled out of a GBP 4 million deal with trouble-torn Libya, even as figures reveal that almost every varsity in the UK is being paid by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime.
Manchester Metropolitan, Teesside, Liverpool John Moores, Glamorgan and Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh announced they had ditched the deal with Libya to train 300 health workers each year in the wake of bloody clashes in the North African nation.
The deal, worth an estimated GBP 4 million, was brokered by Training Gateway, a company set up by universities to promote British institutions around the world, 'The Sunday Telegraph' reported.
"We will not be pursuing the initiative under current circumstances in Libya," a spokesman for Glamorgan University was quoted as saying.
Liverpool John Moore University also said that it had severed a deal to advise Libya's National Economic Development Board on improving business education in the country, apart from pulling out of a proposed pact to train health workers.
Meanwhile, official statistics have revealed that virtually every university in Britain is being paid by the Libyan government to educate students. The 110 varsities registered a total of 2,880 students from Libya last year.
Among those which took Libyan students were members of the Russell Group, which represents 20 top UK universities, including Leeds, St Andrews, King's College London and Glasgow University in Scotland, the figures revealed.
While Leeds University is being paid GBP 800,000 by the Libyan government to teach 67 students this year, Glasgow University said it has received GBP 836,000 from Libya this year to teach 60 students.
The revelations came days after Sir Howard Davies resigned as the director of the London School of Economics for his decision to accept Libyan money after one of Gaddafi's sons, Saif-al-Islam, studied at LSE.
First Published: Sunday, March 13, 2011, 15:56