University finances 2018–19

We're pleased to be able to publish the latest financial information for the University. On these pages, our Chief Financial Officer, Helen Dingle, introduces the University's financial position for 2018–19, we give an explanation of our University finances, and provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

For a quick summary, you can read our financial results infographic

Download financial results infographic (PDF, 624KB) 

Our financial position

Our Chief Financial Officer, Helen Dingle, introduces the University's financial position for 2018–19:

Our financial performance is a critical enabler to the delivery of our strategic aims. It allows us to remain a world top-100 university that is renowned for the excellence, impact and distinctiveness of our research-led learning and teaching.

Our underlying financial results this year are healthy, continuing to build on the solid results seen in the previous year.

Our income has continued to grow. This growth is primarily from student fees - our largest source of income. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, we have seen both student demand and student quality increase and we remain a university of choice for prospective students. In an ever-changing environment it is essential that we maintain a broad and diverse income portfolio. As well as growth in student fee income, we have also seen a growth in drug patent royalty income. We continue to explore and identify areas where we can generate and grow our income.

During the year, costs have also grown proportionately to income. Investment in our people continues to be our number one priority and remains our single largest item of expenditure.

By growing our income and costs proportionately, we have been able to deliver an underlying operating surplus for the second year running. Alongside our performance this year, we also have a strong balance sheet, which is a tremendous asset when managing through periods of uncertainty. We have low levels of borrowing, bucking the trend seen across the sector.

We operate to small financial margins and it is therefore critical that we plan to be financially sustainable and that we deliver on our plans. This results in cash generation, which allows us to continue investing in our people, our facilities for the benefit of both our students and staff, and to deliver our research and teaching ambitions.

It also puts us in a robust position to face the challenges and uncertainties ahead. The political landscape continues to change, implications of Brexit still remain unclear, and deliberations regarding pensions continue. We continue to carefully consider and plan for these issues and other factors, which may impact upon our University, our staff and our students.

We appreciate that this has been a challenging time for our staff and I want to thank each and every one of you for your contribution. We cannot underestimate the challenges that lie ahead for our sector but here at Sheffield we can be confident about our ability to face these challenges head on, and the steps we are taking will secure our future for the benefit of everyone who works and studies here.

You can take a more detailed look at our financial results for 2018–19, and find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Many thanks,

Helen Dingle
Chief Financial Officer