University of Manchester returns to surplus with record levels of income

Dame Nancy Rothwell

The University of Manchester has returned to surplus, its latest annual financial figures reveal, as it continues to recover from the pandemic impact.

Its accounts for the year to July 31, 2023, show that total income was a record £1.344bn, up from £1.217bn the previous year.

This was driven by the first year of higher levels of government funding following a successful outcome from the Research Excellence Framework 2021, increased international tuition fees, the £50m Paterson capital grant now recognised, and higher interest income from deposits due to interest rate rises

A total comprehensive surplus of £77.850m was achieved, as opposed to a deficit the previous year of £63.592m, after net actuarial losses of £29.4m (2022: gain £39.4m) from the University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme (UMSS) and Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) pension schemes.

The actuarial loss can swing from a significant loss to a gain dependent on factors outside the university’s control.

Cash and current asset investments for the year were £443.375m, up from £405.966m.

Chief financial officer, Carol Prokopyszyn, said: “The strong demand for student places at Manchester, combined with the continued excellence in world-leading research has led to year of record levels of income at £1.3bn.

“Despite cost pressures, the university has managed its finances to continue to generate positive cash-flows for reinvestment to deliver the strategic objectives.”

She added: “In the current year, the university has made significant one-off cost of living payments totalling £18.1m to support both its students and staff.”

In June this year the university revealed that it was dealing with a cyber security incident after detecting unauthorised activity on its network.

Ms Prokopyszyn said: “Following the recent cyber incident some of the university’s planned investment has been re-prioritised with scheduled improvements to the university’s IT infrastructure services being brought forward whilst some other projects are paused.

“The impact of the cyber incident has been contained and the resultant cost to date has not been significant. Whilst there has been some disruption, the university has been able to continue to operate with limited impact to services. There has been no impact on its finance system.”

President and Vice Chancellor, Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell, who was North West’s 2019 Business Masters Ambassador of the Year, said: “Despite the ongoing challenges, it has been a very successful year for the university.

“I’d like to give my sincerest thanks to our staff, students, alumni and partners for their outstanding commitment and support, which has helped to further our ambitions.

“Looking ahead, the university faces an exciting future, starting with our milestone bicentenary in 2024. Our plans for a varied range of events and activities are well under way.

“Finally, the search for my successor has begun as I will complete my term as President and Vice-Chancellor next summer. With no loss of momentum, I look forward to taking our university into its 200th year as we continue to build on our success to date.

“Together we will adapt and evolve as we face an ever-changing world that is always bringing us fresh opportunities.”