After its worst financial year in over six months, Nottingham Trent could be a target of a takeover bid by Virgin to rescue and rebrand the struggling educational establishment.
Sir Richard Branson, the volant Chairman of the Virgin Group, says he has “tremendous plans” for the instituion, but isn’t giving too much away at this stage.
“I’m sure we’ll do something with it, ” he forecasts.
Nottingham Trent will be the seventh didactic institution acquired by the porgonophile and certainly the first worth mentioning. With this acquisition, the Virgin Group will manage two universities, one grammar school, three colleges and one art school under the Virgin Scholar brand.
Benefits that are brought to a Virgin Scholar institution include discounted rates on Virgin Holidays in the Summer, increased signal strength for Virgin Mobile phones, free Virgin Cola between 2pm and 4pm weekdays, preferencial rates on Virgin Books and free shuttle buses to Virgin Festivals. Any student radio is assimilated into Virgin Radio, campus eating facilities are incorporated into Virgin Catering and the top five students in any course are given free balloon flights.
However, a proposal to provide student loans to Virgin Scholar customers through Virgin Money raised at least 7 eyebrows at the Student Loans Company Ltd., the usual source of student funding since 1990.
“We’re meant to be doing that,” sighs long-time director David Firth with an air of 1990 Post-Thatcher ennui.
New students, however, are warm to the idea of a loan company that will answer the phone. “Virgin Mobile customers will be allowed straight through without delay,” promises an optimistic Branson.
The takeover proposal is due to go before Nottingham Trent Chancellor Sir Michael Parkinson first thing tomorrow morning, after he picks up his dry cleaning.