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How do I check the financial stability of a university?

(12 Posts)
Celeriacacaca Fri 10-Apr-20 15:55:19

With today's warning that some will go bust, how do I check out the finances of a uni please? DS is due to go to a small, newer one so I am concerned.

OP’s posts: |
Oxyiz Fri 10-Apr-20 16:08:59

They all have to publish annual reports detailing their income and expenditure.

You might have more luck just naming it here and see if someone already knows?

Gwynfluff Fri 10-Apr-20 16:12:37

There were a few teetering even before this. Apparently some of the Scottish ones are also in trouble as the govt funding for local students does not cover the full cost of tuition so they are very reliant on international students fees (we are expecting international student numbers to tank) to make up the shortfall.

TheStarryNight Fri 10-Apr-20 16:14:14

Annual report, look at income, expenditure and reserves. Look for somewhere that could stay open at least 9 months with no new income coming in. A year is better.

Needmoresleep Sat 11-Apr-20 09:47:57

Be aware that those who expanded overseas may have additional issues. For example Malaysia, which hosts Reading and Nottingham campuses is in lockdown. Student recruitment for private Universities, whether local or overseas, has apparently gone into freefall. Potentially lots of start up costs which may now need to be written off.

BackforGood Sat 11-Apr-20 22:43:31

Where Universities are research heavy - and there's a correlation between that, and what many on MN consider to be 'the better' universities. Their funding is likely to be cut, as all the big charities that fund research (Cancer Research / BHF / Dementia UK / etc etc etc) are likely to have lost a huge amount of their income due to all their fundraising events being cancelled, all charity shops shut, etc etc.

That might give a very different picture for the next 3 - 5 years, from the last 3 - 5 years.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 12-Apr-20 08:25:53

Those unis are probably going to retain their home student numbers better though, BackforGood. And the importance of research, on the stem side at least , may have been strengthened.

Celeriacacaca Sun 12-Apr-20 10:11:52

Thanks all - very helpful. Happy Easter!

OP’s posts: |
1963mes Sun 12-Apr-20 10:42:54

Where Universities are research heavy - and there's a correlation between that, and what many on MN consider to be 'the better' universities. Their funding is likely to be cut, as all the big charities that fund research (Cancer Research / BHF / Dementia UK / etc etc etc) are likely to have lost a huge amount of their income due to all their fundraising events being cancelled, all charity shops shut, etc etc.

This is not a very accurate reflection of the true picture. Charitable funding reflects only a small fraction of university research, as it is loss making for universities (the funding does not cover enough of the costs). There are already tentative agreements for the government to underwrite more of research costs than they usually do for at least the next two years. Also there are large Covid projects being funded and as pp wrote high tariff universities are in a much better position to retain domestic and international student recruitment.

It is the mid and low tariff universities that are much more vulnerable, with many of the most vulnerable being in areas of the country where the Conservatives recently took seats. The latter suggests that the government may step in - it would politically difficult to let some of these institutions go completely under. The speculation within HE is that the vulnerable institutions may undergo mergers and we could return to something like the pre 92 division between HE providers.

titchy Sun 12-Apr-20 11:34:49

There's also been calls for research funding to be doubled. Don't forget - research is Dom's big plan. The current crisis can only strengthen that.

It is very likely that one or two will go under - more if the Gov doesn't offer a bailout. But if OP's ds' uni did go under, he'd be able to transfer elsewhere.

BackforGood Sun 12-Apr-20 14:18:42

Thank you 1963 for the update that the Government might underwrite. Great news if it comes to fruition. I'm only sharing information from some funded projects I know of that have already been told they will lose 20% of their funding next year.

I wasn't aware of 'Dom's big plan' grin, but that also sounds promising.

HannahStern Fri 17-Apr-20 19:26:13

The chances of research funding increasing is very low indeed unless it is an area directly related to pandemics. Universities are very worried that research funding in most areas is going to be slashed significantly.

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