Our University finances
Ahead of the publication of our 2017–18 Annual Report and Financial Statements, Helen Dingle, Chief Financial Officer, provides an overview of University finances.
The University's finances are important to the delivery of our strategic aim of changing the world for the better through the power and application of ideas and knowledge. Our University comprises more than 29,000 students and over 8,000 staff.
Our financial performance this year has been encouraging, particularly given the challenging environment in which the higher education sector currently operates. We have seen growth in our income which has mainly come from the significant work done to maintain undergraduate student numbers and quality, and increases in the number of postgraduate and international students. We have also seen growth in our research contracts.
As well as increasing our income we have managed to control our costs, which is a key component of delivering long-term financial sustainability. This has meant that for the first time in three years we are able to report an underlying operating surplus rather than a deficit. This is incredibly important as not only has this allowed us to continue planned investment in our resources and facilities to fulfil our teaching and research ambitions, but it also puts us in a strong position for the challenging times ahead.
We are acutely aware that the coming months will be critical for our sector. The implications of Brexit remain unknown, as do the outcomes of the deliberations surrounding pensions. We also know that the Government's Augar post-18 education review, which could lead to a reduction in student fees, could pose significant challenges. We are prudently planning and preparing for these issues and other factors we know may have an impact on our University and our people.
One of the questions I often get asked about is the amount of money we spend on our estate versus what we spend on our people. For me this is clear, both are essential. Our people form the heart of everything and your dedication, passion and support is essential to our success. We have spent over £331.1m this year on staff, accounting for 53.9% of our expenditure, compared with £98.6m on our estate. However, investment in our buildings and facilities is also a part of our investment in our staff and students. We want to ensure that we create an environment that our people enjoy working and studying in, and which allows them to flourish.
We face increasing competition from universities here and abroad, whether it’s in attracting students, staff or research grants. In order to remain a leading choice for our prospective students, staff and funders, we have to continue investing in the things that make our organisation successful, from our people to our facilities to our services. This is what will continue to make us stand out.
If you would like to know more you can take a look at:
Chief Financial Officer