University Financial Performance 2020-21
We’ve now shared with the University Council our annual accounts for the financial year ending 31 July 2021. They are available to read online.
The accounts demonstrate financial resilience at the University in a year heavily impacted, again, by the Covid-19 pandemic. We took a prudent approach to financial planning in 2020/21 so that we could manage the switch to online teaching, and to manage the expected impact of significant reductions to income streams for tuition fees, research and commercial activities. In practice, income streams actually held up well, except in CCSG and student accommodation, which means we’ve maintained a robust financial position overall.
Here is an overview of our financial performance for 2020/21 in more detail:
- Student recruitment far exceeded original expectations.
- Expenditure across departments was lower than expected, and therefore generated savings – for example through reduced opportunity to spend/procure during periods of restrictions on planned activities like travel.
- Some cost savings in 2020/21 are just deferred spend into 2021/22 – for example expenditure on IT projects, and where we will be delivering graduation celebration events for those students who have missed out on attending a ceremony due to the pandemic.
- Our student accommodation and commercial activities (such as retail, conferences, the Warwick Arts Centre and Sports and Wellness Hub) were heavily impacted by the pandemic – with income falling £20m below target. However, some commercial activities, such as Unitemps and our jobs.ac.uk recruitment service, performed better than predicted.
- The delayed completion of the 2020 USS pension valuation means that the financial impact of these changes is not reported in 2020/21 figures. The notes to our financial statements explain that the new schedule of contributions is expected to increase our pension deficit by a further £237m. This will impact on our reported surplus for next year. However, we have budgeted for the cash impact of the increased employer contributions and the University is able to maintain its long-term financial sustainability.
This positive overall picture, coupled with the release of contingency provisions, enabled an end-of year-surplus of £76.5m (£79.3m after USS adjustments). This surplus is all retained to use for the University’s charitable purposes.
We have been able to invest in student provision, such as the Warwick Presents programme – a diverse range of activities to bring life to campus for students returning after studying remotely. And we’ve invested in staff provision, such as making a thank you payment to salaried staff, and the Career Support Scheme which is helping staff whose careers have been adversely impacted by Covid-related issues. We also completed the IBRB and, since the end of the 2020/21, we’ve completed other capital projects such as the new Faculty of Arts building, the refurbished Arts Centre and new student residences. And we’ve re-started works such as the library refurbishment and student residences refurbishments which commenced over the summer of 2021.
What this result means for the future is that we can begin to spend more positively, with investment in academic posts and equipment, and investment in strategic initiatives such as our STEM Grand Challenge. We approach 2021/22 with optimism for the University’s future growth and success.
Auditors' Disclaimer on Web Based Accounts
The maintenance and integrity of the University of Warwick Finance Office website is the responsibility of the University of Warwick; the work carried out by the auditors does not involve consideration of these matters and, accordingly, the auditors accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occurred to the financial statements or audit report since they were initially presented on the website.
Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.
The University's Financial Statements for the last 6 years are available for download in PDF format below:
An archive of previous accounts is available here. This includes copies of the Statutory Accounts from the first 50 years, which were made available online as part of the University's 50th Anniversary.
Financial information for students is available at the Finance page of the University Profile