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'A conversation about Financial Sustainability': presentation available

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Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort hosted four sessions on Financial Sustainability at the University last week – led by our Chief Financial Officer, Samantha Foley, and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resources), Mark Fellowes.

Titled ‘A conversation about’, these sessions – held at our Whiteknights, Greenlands and London Road campuses – were quite popular and attracted over 500 colleagues.

Robert said he is keen to continue the conversations that have shaped the University’s new strategy. He said colleagues, students and other stakeholders have helped created a shared set of ideals which will guide the University and prioritise its decision-making in the years leading to our Centenary.

Opening the sessions, Robert said that financial sustainability underpins everything we do at the University. It determines our ability to continue to invest in our institution and its teaching and learning and research infrastructure.

He said while the tuition fees had been introduced in 1998, much of the changes that impact higher education institutions have come about in the last few years.

Chief Financial Officer Samantha Foley said tuition fees accounted for almost half of our income with the rest coming from a range of resources like funding body grants, research grants and other income. She also talked about how this money was spent and how we made up for a shortfall between income and expenditure.

Sam said the recent announcement by the University to sell our remaining investments in fossil fuels and putting its money behind green schemes reflected our strong commitment to environmental sustainability. She also talked about plans for the Thames Valley Science Park and our partnership with British Museum.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resources) Mark Fellowes talked about how the money works in Schools and Functions at the University. Reflecting on his time as the Head of School, he had seen the planning system evolve into a mechanism which allows the Schools to manage most of their money while contributing to shared central costs.

Mark said the challenges faced by us were not very different from what other higher education institutions are facing, and teams across our institution have been working together to respond to these challenges. He said the application numbers this year showed that this work was having an impact.

The full presentation from the session can be found here (University log in required).

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