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2019/20 financial statements published

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The University has published its financial statements for 2019/20, showing its strong position to overcome the financial shocks caused by the coronavirus, now and in the future.

In this financial year, we have had to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of immediate operational changes and planning for longer-term uncertainty. Starting from a firm financial position has enabled the University to adapt accordingly, with the University community staying informed and playing an active role throughout.

Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort said, "This academic year has certainly had its ups and downs. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest challenge we have ever faced and is still likely to cause significant disruption in the immediate future. Yet I am incredibly proud of the way the University community has responded, coming together to help each other, and using their skills and abilities to help others. I can think of no better example of the strengths and purpose of this University.

“This academic year, we have also published our new 2020-2026 Strategy which sets out our plans within four key principles: putting community at the heart of everything we do, being a university fully engaged with the world around us, maintaining excellent standards, and committing ourselves to financial and environmental sustainability. This will enable us to work towards our vision for our centenary year in 2026, as well as helping us tackle the immediate issues that face us.”

The headlines from the 2019/2020 Financial Statement include:

  • Total income on operating activities: £313.8m. This is a 2.4% decrease from 2019, mainly due to the financial impact of COVID-19 in the last quarter of the financial year.
  • Total expenditure on operating activities: £327.2m (excluding a pension provision movement) – down from £341m in 2018/19, due to a one-off provision last year not being repeated in 2020.
  • Total surplus, taking account of all aspects of the University’s activities: £42.6m. The overall surplus is a result of the sale of land and a pension provision movement. Without these two major items, the University would have been on course to make a very small underlying deficit. However, with losses of ~£17m due to COVID-19, the underlying deficit is now £16.9m.
  • Tuition fee income: Increased by £3.5m to £187.1m.
  • Total research income received: Fell by 3.5% to          £38m – the result of a decrease in the rate and value of new grant awards and some COVID-19 related impact.
  • Funding body grants: Increased to £31.5m, up £1m from 2019/20.
  • Consolidated net assets: Totalled £438.3m at 31 July 2020, compared to £401.1m in 2019, with the increase against the previous year attributed primarily to the pension provision movement.
  • Investments: Investments held by the University and its trusts are valued at £122.8 million.

University Council President Paul Preston said, “Our new Strategy highlights the importance of having a strong financial position at all times. No one could have predicted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet our firm financial footing is what has enabled us to make it through this year and remain in a relatively healthy position, continuing to deliver high quality teaching and research, albeit it in a different way to normal, whilst ensuring the safety of our staff and students.

“The coming year will no doubt bring many more challenges. The remaining uncertainty around Brexit is a concern for all UK universities, in terms of student recruitment, research funding, and international collaboration. With the added uncertainty of COVID-19, we are learning to expect the unexpected. I am confident that the University of Reading and its talented students and staff will face these challenges head on and continue to lead by example.” 

The full financial statement document is available as a PDF online here.

The University of Reading 2020-2026 Strategic Plan can be viewed here.

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