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Resources > Campaign Guides and Information > Using College Accounts for Research

Using College Accounts for Research

This document is a work in progress. Please make suggestions to tim@srioxford.org.uk, or simply make an updated version and upload it here…

Andrew Malcolm, and his company Akme Publishing, has been obtaining copies of OxfordCollegeaccounts and publishing them online since 2002. Whilst college accounts are available, they are costly to obtain from the University; so the Akme site provides a good repository of information. You can find the site and OxfordAccounts index at: http://www.akme.btinternet.co.uk/oclaindx.html

A link to the 2003 account summary for each college (where available) is also provided in the ‘Research Tools’ section of college pages.

What to do:
It is recommended that you visit the site and download a copy of your college accounts now in PDF format – just in case the site ceases to be available in the future.

What you can find out:
Whilst the information contained in the accounts varies, useful information can often be gleaned from their introductions and content, including:

How to research further:
To present a convincing case for SRIto your college or JCR, there are a number of avenues of research you can take using the accounts as a starting point…

  1. Investigate the funds- if you college account specifically mention the name of a fund, you can search online for that fund. Often, fund websites show the ‘top-10’ companies held in the fund and in many non SRIfunds, this includes firms involved in activities that may be excluded by an SRIinvestment approach.

  2. Find out about the fund manager – if you can find out the name of your college’s fund managers, it is worth finding out if they have any tailor-made Socially Responsible Investment options. Many fund managers already offer SRIpackages that colleges can opt into, or at least accept instructions and ethical mandates. You can usually find details on this on the Fund website. However, it is also worth searching on this (srioxford.org.uk) first to see if any other colleges use the same Fund Manager, and to see what they have found out already. Make sure you publish details of your fund managers in the updates section so other colleges can share your learning. Knowing which other colleges use the same fund manager may also provide opportunities for them to pool resources, or to share the costs of an SRIapproach.

  3. Compare rates of return– account summaries should show the rate of return colleges have received on their investments, or this information should be available within the account document itself. You can compare the rate of return the college is getting to ethical funds (Try searching for the FTSE4Good, or looking at the links section for ethical funds for rough comparisons). This can help in making the financial case for SRI.

Posted on 16/11/04 by admin

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Oxford Socially Responsible Investment Campaign is campaigning for clear committment to Socially Responsible Investment from Oxford University and for greater financial transparency in the investments of Oxford University Colleges. This website contains information about the campaign, and details on how you can get involved