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Heads of Department Update 21 September


A quick update – some of you may know some of this already and I’m trying not to repeat messages that have been shared through other channels.

I did want to update on student numbers as there was a lot of information on the slides in the EWLF and I’d like to be able to share some of the latest figures. There is also an update from last week’s ARC and one or two other bits and pieces.

Forecast Student Numbers

We’ve been looking at this from two perspectives – the top-down approach working from admissions date on acceptances and the bottom-up approach working from enrolment patterns. These are starting to come together. And rather than reel off numbers, let me just share the following table



20/21 baseline target

20/21 adjusted target

Latest forecast vs baseline targets

Latest forecast vs adjusted targets

Latest forecast vs forecast used for financial projections











































Of course, forecasts this year are exceptionally difficult, but the enrolment data does give us a strong signal of intent and the column on the right hand side tells you that we might reasonably expect to do a bit better than the forecasts that went into the financial projections that Rosie shared. This won’t be a huge amount of extra income as things stand but it should reduce the size of the projected deficit and move us comfortably away from the constraints imposed by baking covenants

Update from ARC

We had an update on finances and specifically on Draft 5B of the financial plan which showed that total ARC savings made/identified in the period between this and the earlier draft of the Plan totalled c.£27m. This was a bit less than targeted but still very welcome – and ARC did record its thanks to Depts for all the effort that went into delivering these projected savings. We also saw some draft figures for Q4 showing an ARC gross surplus close to £169m, which was around £10m up on budget. Gross margin at 29.5% was 0.9% up on that achieved in 2018/19 and 2.3% above budget. The favourable outcome will be really helpful in terms of capital; it will give some flexibility in relation to projects currently on hold and may also help the Academic Equipment Fund.

The Academic Equipment Fund has been reduced along with many other elements of the capital plan. We are continuing to invest in equipment but at a reduced scale and we also need to support equipment this year for IBRB and for the new Faculty of Arts building. A number of recent successful matched funding bids for equipment have largely exhausted this year’s budget but we will be looking to try to secure some additional top up based on the more favourable than expected year end outcome. But it will be a tight year in terms of academic equipment.

Community Values Education Programme

The Community Values Education Programme (CVEP) team are aiming to deliver Active Bystander Introduction workshops to all first year UG cohorts, using a synchronous online format by a CVEP facilitator. The workshop supports students in understanding their role as active bystanders, in upholding the university’s community values and developing the knowledge, skills and confidence to intervene in problematic behaviours. We hope that the workshops will raise aspirations that each student can and does have an impact on our university community, and to provide practical support towards ensuring that impact is positive. To timetable a workshop for your first year students please contact the CVEP team via”

You may also find it interesting to know that we have a growing bank of community values education activities which colleagues are welcome to use, at Colleagues are also invited to contribute to the resources on an ongoing basis.

Test and Trace

Chris Twine covered the essentials of this in his presentation to the EWLF and I won’t repeat any of this, but there are briefing sessions being organised and it might be helpful for you, or perhaps one of your colleagues to attend these.

New UG Scholarship Scheme

As part of our work to maintain and improve the diversity in our international student community, we will be launching an new UG Excellence Scholarship Scheme which will be global in coverage. It will include students from the EU who will be classified as international for fees purposes from next year. More details will follow soon.

Academic Promotions

Announcements should be going out this week on the revised timescale and two briefing events for potential applicants have been organised for the afternoons of 1st October and 9th October.

Any queries on any of these, do let me know.



Professor Christine Ennew OBE