University finances are looking precarious
Figures published yesterday by the Higher Education Statistics Agency appear to show that university expenditure outpaced income for the first time ever in 2018-19. While total income for institutions was £40.8 billion, expenditure topped £44bn. Overall, only 75 institutions were in surplus, while 119—61 per cent of the total—were in deficit. Chris Parr covers the story on our website.
But much of this is due to a significant pension accounting adjustment following the 2017 valuation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. This means that it could be a one-off, not necessarily reflecting institutions’ underlying financial health.