Update on University finances

From Frank Richardson, Director of Finance

The University’s Annual Report for 2020/21 has now been published and provides an overview of the financial performance for the year ended 31 July 2021 accompanied by the audited financial statements. Ahead of a Staff Webchat on this, where Jane Higham and I will talk through the statements in a bit more detail and answer any questions you may have, I thought it would be helpful to give a quick summary. 

Last year presented truly unprecedented financial challenges due in part to the unique and unpredictable spending patterns we saw as a result of the impact of the pandemic. Thanks to an enormous effort by colleagues across the University, we were able to manage this uncertainty and generate a small one-off surplus. This has provided a contingency buffer in the event of further financial impacts from Covid-19.

We are also able to make some repayments to our lenders ahead of schedule, ensuring their continued confidence in us and supporting us on the path to being free of these obligations as quickly as possible.  This includes being clear on the need to continue to balance this with reinvestment in Kent’s future. 

Financial Improvement Plan 

Work to deliver the Financial Improvement Plan continues with a focus on ensuring Kent attracts  and delivers rewarding education experiences to sufficient numbers of high quality students in order to ensure our ongoing financial resilience in the face of any future uncertainty. This includes focusing on keeping Divisions on track with sustainability targets, while working together to identify areas which are best suited to growth and further investment 

For the current year, we are on track to achieve our student income targets although some areas have had a more challenging time than others. We are also on track to achieve the budgeted outcome and have been further boosted by the recent award of £1.2m of capital investment from the Office for Students, which is being used to improve facilities for Image Rendering, High Performance Computing and improvements to Computing, Engineering and Natural Science Laboratories. 

Staff Webchat  

You can find out more about our finances for last year and plans for the year ahead at our Staff Webchat on Friday 28 January from 12.00-13.00.  

Sign up now for the webchat via this Forms link.