University debt increased by nearly 50 per cent in the last year, with the total now standing at £203.8 million.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) Request about debt submitted by Exeposé was rejected because research would exceed the fee limit and “prejudice the commercial interests of the University or a third party” – two grounds for exemption under the FOI Act.
However, the institution’s latest financial statement shows a 48.1 per cent increase in debt on last year’s £137.6 million total, whilst total income has increased by just 8.7 per cent.
Total and net debt has risen steadily over the past few years, though “total cash and cash deposits,” which are subtracted from total debt to find net debt, have also risen substantially.
Net debt currently stands at £96.9 million, up on £79 million last year and £72.3 million at the end of 2012.
The statistics, released at the end of 2014, came amidst significant growth at the University in recent years, with the institution accepting more students and handling larger budgets. The increase also coincides with low national interest rates, though these could change after May’s general election.
Meanwhile, net assets at the University are up by nearly £40 million on last year, though capital expenditure and capital grants both fell.
Exeposé reported on the University’s £330 million budget in September, which forecast expenditure of over £183 million on “staff costs” and over £118 million on “other operating expenses.”
A spokesperson for the University of Exeter commented: “The University is committed to providing world-class facilities for our students and staff. This commitment has seen an unparalleled level of investment in recent years across all campuses, including both the Forum and Russell Seal Fitness Centre on the Streatham Campus, the RILD Building adjacent to St Luke’s, and the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) at Penryn.
“The University is continuing to invest, with the Living Systems Building, Medical School projects at the St Luke’s campus and the Science and Engineering Research Facility at the Penryn Campus all underway.
“Securing the right level of long-term, manageable borrowing is essential to fund continued investment, which not only ensures Exeter can attract and retain the very best students and staff, but also plays a significant role in helping achieve our aim to be a global top 100 university.”
Harrison Jones, Editorbookmark me