Jet-set provost

Kingdom Centre

HIGHER education’s favourite smoothie Frank Zappa lookalike, University College London’s outgoing provost Sir Malcolm Grant – the man who helped bring Camden’s first academy school to fruition in Swiss Cottage and is now the chairman of the NHS in England – had a busy final full year. On behalf of the university, he flew across four continents in work trips either funded by UCL or UCL’s development office. A reply to a Freedom of Information request – the university is subject to FoI because it receives public money as one of its sources of revenue – marks out his jet-set trail through 2012, and also the hotels he stayed in. No cheapo bed and brekkies for the good professor here, the bill for one of the stays at a landmark hotel was at a rate of more than £300 a night.

February: PARIS – One night in the Grand Hotel St Michel. £164.

May: BARCELONA – Three nights in The 5 Rooms hotel. £533.90.

September: NEW YORK – Four nights at the Millennium Broadway. £884.64.

November: FREIBERG –  Two nights at Best Western Premier Hotel Victoria. £216,24.

November: RIYADH – Three nights at Four Seasons Hotel (pictured above, that big building). £977.73.

November: ABU DHABI – Two nights  in the InterContinental Hotel. £598.

November: DOHA – Two nights Ritz Carlton. £410.72.

December: ADELAIDE – Two nights Hilton Adelaide £315.27.

UCL also said in its response to my request: “The Provost also traveled extensively during this period representing UCL but with full expenses met externally, including for his membership of the University Grants Committee in Hong Kong.” Busy, busy.

At this stage, it probably would be kind to point out there aren’t so many scrambled egg B&Bs in Riyadh to shop around for. UCL has also explained more than once before how it has ‘benefited hugely’ from Prof Grant representing the university abroad.

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