In this section:
- Impact of COVID-19
- Preparing for the future
- How the home/EU £9,250 tuition fee is spent
In the 2019-20 academic year the University of Liverpool had 26,720 students. Each year we open our doors to learners, staff and partners from all walks of life and all corners of the globe.
Our total income in 2019/20 was £583.5 million. Our total expenditure of £582.1 million (excluding non-cash pension accounting adjustments) in 2019/20 was £1.4 million lower than our total income. This operating surplus will be reinvested in the University to improve our teaching and research facilities and invest in our staff and students. We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation so do not pay dividends to shareholders.
We have for 2019/20 a £53.3m net one-off accounting adjustment (non-cash) against the future costs of pensions (Universities Superannuation Scheme - USS - and the University of Liverpool Pension Fund - ULPF), linked to changes in valuation of the schemes. In order to keep this report as clear as possible, this adjustment has been removed from the charts that follow.
This summary aims to show the sources of our income, as well as how we use that income to support our operations, pay our staff, provide financial support to students, keep the University running well and prepare for the future.
If you would like to know more about us then please visit our financial information webpages.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new and unprecedented challenges for organisations right across the globe. In March 2020, the University acted quickly and decisively to protect our University community, and also our financial position.
The campus was initially closed down to all except those working tirelessly on the frontline of the UK research effort into treatments and vaccines for the disease, and unnecessary expenditure was reduced to protect staff jobs and preserve financial balances.
This careful financial control will continue to protect the University and its members throughout the pandemic and the following years of global financial uncertainty.
We have invested heavily in adapting our campus and our operations to ensure we are COVID-secure and able to support our students and staff. This has included:
- Undertaking a full review of all buildings on campus with adaptations made where needed across the board
- Making a significant investment in our own dedicated COVID-19 testing facilities for students and staff offering both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing
- Investing in a dedicated on-campus COVID-19 tracing capability to reduce the potential for infection outbreaks on campus
- Provided additional practical and wellbeing support to students who have had to self-isolate including food boxes and additional welfare checks
- Increasing investment in our mental health and wellbeing services for students
- Investing an additional £1million to support students in financial hardship. This included opening up applications for the University Hardship Fund to more students, including our international cohorts.
- Offering a rebate to those in University accommodation where students chose to stay away for an extended period
- Opening up technology support schemes including free mobile broadband “Mi-Fi” devices, which provide 4G access to the internet through a monthly data allowance, and a successful laptop loan scheme designed to address the needs of students in digital poverty
- Making an additional laptop investment for our postgraduate research students which provided appropriate technology to all those in need.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have planned delivery to suit a range of circumstances and are confident in the quality of our learning and teaching provision. All students have received high-quality online instruction with a mix of pre-prepared content together with the opportunity to learn from and interact with lecturers and peers in real time. All of our students will still have the opportunity to acquire all the intended learning outcomes for their programmes and degree awards will carry the same value, and the recognition of quality associated with our University. In all of our decisions, we seek to address equality, diversity and inclusion concerns, for example by focussing additional support where appropriate on those who need it most.
Capital investments are an important part of preparing the University for the future. As we invest in the estate we make our buildings more energy efficient and more accessible to students and staff with disabilities and improve the learning and research environment for all. We also enhance the digital environment to take advantage of technological advances.
These investments, which are not included in the expenditure for the year quoted above, or the pie charts below, total £50.7 million for 2019/20, and are funded mainly from surpluses made in previous years. This year the University has invested:
- £9.4 million in capital equipment
- £7.4 million in our new School of Law and Social Justice
- £7 million in our newly launched Greenbank Student Village
- £5.7 million in infrastructure programmes of work
- £5.2 million in our world-class Arts and Humanities Centre
- £4 million in our State-of-the-art Digital Innovation Facility
- £2.8 million in the Regius Chair refurbishment (Science & Engineering)
- £9.2 million in additional smaller projects.
Our income comes from a variety of sources, all of which support our work. These include government grants for teaching and research which subsidise the cost of more expensive programmes, student fees, donations and income generated through commercial activities.
This chart shows the main sources of our income in 2019/20. Student fees, in total, made up around 56% of our income.
This chart shows how we used our income in 2019/20 to support our activity, from running academic departments to providing support services for students and maintaining our estate, premises and facilities. The chart excludes the non-cash one-off pension adjustments described in the introduction.
The cost of academic departments and academic support services represents just under half of the University’s total expenditure. The remaining expenditure is essential in supporting the quality of the student experience.
This chart aims to demonstrate how the £9,250 Home/EU tuition fee was spent in 2019/20. The areas highlighted in the graph below are also supported by income from other sources, but for the purposes of demonstrating specifically how the home/EU £9,250 student tuition fee is spent we have excluded other income including government grants for teaching and research, research grants and contracts, and income from residences, catering and conferences.
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