University accounts show continued financial resilience
01 December 2022
The University of Reading continues to demonstrate a strong financial position, according to the financial statements for 2021/22, published today.
In the financial year ending 31 July 2022, the University was still feeling the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but showed a strong recovery as University activities returned on a more normal basis, the accounts show.
The University’s firm financial footing has enabled it to manage the ongoing impact of the pandemic, whilst still delivering high quality teaching and learning to its students, the figures show.
Furthermore, some cost-saving measures agreed by the University community as part of the Post-COVID-19 Response Programme, such as the prospect of short-term pay reductions to protect jobs, have not been required.
Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said:
“The University of Reading has always taken financial stability very seriously, and a core part of our University strategy is to be financially sustainable.
“We continue to feel the financial aftershocks of the pandemic, and increasing costs are also a significant challenge for us. With prudent management of our assets, our investments and our expenditure, we have continued to meet those challenges and remain in an overall strong financial position given the pressures of the last three years.”
The headlines from the 2021/22 financial statement include:
- Total income on operating activities: £316.9m. Up from £311m in 2020/21
- Total expenditure on operating activities: £334.5m (excluding a pension provision movement) – up by £13.6m in 2020/21. This was largely due to increased activity in 2022, compared to the previous year, when repeated lockdowns curtailed activities.
- Total deficit, taking account of all aspects of the University’s activities: £48.5m. This deficit is down from a surplus of £26.3m in 2020/21, when a positive pension provision movement played a significant part. Despite a £39m gain in asset values for 2021/22, this has been offset by an increased pension provision movement of £72m in year, which is linked to the currently agreed Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) deficit recovery plan, based on the 2020 valuation.
- Underlying deficit, without pensions or investment asset gains: £15.2m, compared to £10.4m in 2020/21. This was due to losses of around £13m relating to the pandemic.
- Tuition fee income: decreased by £0.4m to £188.9m.
- Total research income received: increased by £0.5m£ to £38m.
- Other income: increased by £5.2m to £46.1m. Other income is from a number of sources, including executive education, property rentals, catering, conferences, the SportsPark, consultancy and enterprise activities. Many of these activities were impacted by the effects of the pandemic, so this income would typically be higher.
- Consolidated net assets: totalled £451.1m on 31 July 2022, compared to £475.2m in 2021, with the decrease due primarily to the increase in pension provisions, partly mitigated by gains on investment assets.
- Investments: investments held by the University and its trusts are valued at £128m, up from £127.4m last year.
The annual financial statements for 2021/22 are published in full on the University website.