Financial crime experts have raised concern about the number of universities in the UK which accept cash payments from students from countries with high money-laundering risks.
The Times newspaper today has published figures showing 49 British universities allowed students to pay fees totalling £52million with bank notes.
The investigation, based on Freedom of Information Act disclosures, shows £7.7million was paid by Chinese students, followed by £1.8m from India, £1.5million from students in Nigeria and £1.2million from people in Pakistan.
Matthew Page, associate fellow of the Chatham House think tank, said: “Any educational establishment that accepts cash payments is essentially putting out a welcome mat for the world’s kleptocrats and money launderers.
“Unviersities that accept cash are at high risk of laundering the proceeds of crime, corruption and other illicit activities.”
Chris Greany, a former UK national police co-ordinator for countering economic crime, said: “Cash-based payments need proper scrutiny and accountability but there is no good reason for them at all”
Register for free to receive the latest FinCrime news and analysis straight to your inbox