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Financial information

Cardiff University is one of the UK’s largest universities with an annual turnover in excess of £500m.

While 2018/19 has been challenging, some of the difficult decisions we have made are starting to bear fruit.

The University remains in a strong financial position, although the increased future pension costs and general economic uncertainties mean we must continue to focus on delivering a financially sustainable future that supports our ambitions.

Read our 2018/19 Annual Report and Financial Statements:

Annual Report and Financial Statements 2019

Annual Report and Financial Statements 2019

17 December 2019

Year ended 31 July 2019.

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Where our money comes from

Our total income for the year 2018/19 was £538m, an increase of £20m on the previous year.

Our spending increased by 5.2% to £552m.

This year the University had to make a non-cash accounting provision of £93m for its share of the 2017 USS pension scheme surplus. After all one-off provisions and unrealised investment gains the University’s total deficit for 2018/19 was £117m.

However the University’s underlying operating deficit was £6.9m, a £16m improvement on last year which is in line with University projections to return to a surplus in future years.

Our two main sources of income remain tuition fees, which saw an increase of £14m to £279m, and research grants, which increased by £10m to £116m. The rest of our income comes from a variety of sources including funding council grants and student residences.

Analysis of 2018/19 income by category

Category2017/182018/19
Funding council grants £50m £58m
Fees and support grants £265m £279m
Research grants and contracts £106m £116m
Other income £87m £76m
Endowment income and interest receivable £10m £9m
Total income£518m£538m

What we spend our money on

In 2018/19, we spent £552m compared to spending of £540m the previous year, an increase of £12m.

The focus of our spending remains on teaching and research.

There have continued to be pressures on staff costs in the sector in relation to pay awards and other employer contributions.

Our underlying staff costs were £312m in 2018/19 compared to £305m the previous year.

However staff costs were considerably more when factoring in additional pensions provision required following the 2017 valuation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Accounting rules this year required universities to make provision to cover their share of the £7.5bn deficit identified in the valuation.

Cardiff University’s share is an additional cost of employment of £141m, which will be paid over 14 years as additional employer contributions.

A subsequent valuation of the USS pension scheme in 2018 recorded a significantly lower deficit of £3.6bn, which will be reflected in universities’ 2019/20 financial statements.

Analysis of 2018/19 spend by category

Category2017/182018/19
Academic departments £237m £235m
Research grants and contracts £77m £86m
Other services rendered £50m £38m
Premises £33m £34m
Administration and central services £28m £30m
Academic services £30m £32m
Depreciation £38m £41m
Other expenses £31m £36m
Residences, catering and conferences £13m £14m
Voluntary Severance Scheme£3m£6m
Total expenditure£540m£552m