A UNION has called for a university to ‘open the books’ over claims millions in funding is being lost overseas.

The University and College Union said the University of Central Lancashire was losing vast sums investing in campuses in Sri Lanka, Thailand, China and Cyprus.

Union leaders said £7.5million had been written off the balance sheet of UCLan’s chief holding company, Centralan Holdings.

However UCLan, which has a campus in Burnley, said its finances were openly published and no public funds were used in overseas projects. The university also said that international projects were vital to the work in higher education.

The union has written to members of the university’s board of governors and sent them a copy of their report looking into a series of investments by UCLan.

The UCU is concerned there is a link with plans to axe 75 posts and downgrade some teaching posts at the university.

UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: “It cannot offer students value for money when such important research-based teaching posts are lost or downgraded.

“We want the figures detailed in a clear and transparent way. If there is nothing to hide then there shouldn’t be an issue here.”

A UCLan spokesman said: “While it is of course natural for UCU to link the higher education reforms to the international programme, the two areas are entirely separate.

“No public money has been used in the management of the university’s international programme.

“However UK students need an international element to their higher education, and there is an increasing demand for UK higher education overseas.”