How Goldsmiths manages its finances is an important issue for our students, staff and stakeholders.
Understanding our finances
We are committed to transparency in our financial reporting and helping our community and stakeholders to develop a deeper understanding of our financial situation.
As such, we have highlighted key information about our finances on this page, with the full details published in our Annual Report and Financial Statements 2021-22 (PDF).
Every year we publish our financial accounts, which are called Annual Reports and Financial Statements. These are published in December and detail the financial activity of the college in the previous academic year.
The accounts published in December 2022 report on our financial position during the financial year that ended on 31 July 2022, also known as the 2021-22 financial year.
Our accounts are independently audited and we are legally required to publish them. As with all higher education providers registered with the government we also have a duty to our sector regulator the Office for Students to demonstrate that we are in financial good health so we can continue operating as a university.
There are three factors which inform our headline financial position:
- The money which comes into Goldsmiths (income)
- The money which goes out of Goldsmiths (expenditure)
- The resulting balance – whether we are in surplus or deficit
In 2021-22, the College had total income of £137.4 million, total expenditure of £170.1 million and gains on the sale of properties of £3.8 million. This resulted in a deficit of £28.9 million.
However, those figures are affected by technical accounting charges related to pension accounting charges, staff restructuring costs and the gain on the sale of properties.
After removing these items from the figures above we had a small underlying surplus of £2.1 million.
What this means
An underlying surplus of £2.1 million represents an improvement on our financial position at the end of the previous financial year, when we reported an underlying deficit of £6.5 million.
Our recovery programme, implemented in January 2021 and designed to make £9 million in ongoing savings, has played a key role in this respect.
Our plan is progressing: we have identified and secured £6.2 million in savings actions so far. We still have work to do, with a further £2.8 million of savings to make by the end of July 2023.
This should put us on a sustainable financial footing, meaning we can invest more in supporting students and staff and build a financial cushion to protect us from any future economic shocks.
In terms of the next phase of the recovery programme, the College is committed to working with our staff unions and wider community to find savings, with a commitment to no compulsory redundancies in Tranches 2-4 of the Recovery Programme.
Where our money comes from
Our income comes from these areas and activities:
- Tuition fees – 79%
- Funding body grants – 7%
- Research grants and contracts – 3%
- Other income, such as accommodation – 11%
Government cuts, due to the subjects we teach and our location in London as well as reductions in our UK undergraduate student numbers, saw us lose more than a quarter of our funding body grant income. This is now below £10 million a year.
Inflation is also having a significant impact on the real-terms value of our income level. Home undergraduate tuition fees continue to be held at £9,250 which equates to £6,600 at 2012-13 prices, according to sector representative body Universities UK.
How we spend our money
People are at the heart of all the College’s activities, and our biggest expenditure by far is on staff. This includes paying wages, contributing to pensions and paying social security costs.
Our staff expenditure in 2021-22 totalled £118.5 million – £28.1 million more than in the previous year as result of the pension accounting charge. Of this £118.5 million, Goldsmiths spent:
- £65.0 million on salaries
- £12.3 million on employer pension contributions
- £6.5 million on social security costs
- £0.8 million on voluntary severance payments
- A £6.1 million liability charge towards a deficit recovery plan related to the LPFA pension scheme
- A £27.8 million provision towards a deficit recovery plan related to the USS pension scheme
Emoluments of the Warden totalled £246,000 for the year.
Other types of spending
In addition to spending on staff Goldsmiths must meet a range of other costs related to the running and operation of the university. This includes:
- £13.3 million on premises – this includes the management of the estate, maintenance of buildings, the depreciation (drop in value) of buildings and resources due to wear and tear from being used, and heating and lighting bills. Cleaning and security costs are also included
- £7.1 million on halls of residence, including depreciation and third-party halls used by our students
- £5.2 million in 2021-22 on capital expenditure (or 'CAPEX'). CAPEX refers to things like new buildings, fixtures, fittings and equipment, software and refurbishing existing buildings. For the College this year, it included a project to install low-energy LED lighting across campus as part of the Green New Deal project. This CAPEX spend is an increase compared to 2020-21, but still substantially lower than in previous years
As outlined above, the College’s primary investment has been in its staff.
We also spend significant amounts of money in providing direct support to our communities, excluding the costs of staff these include:
- £2.7 million on student bursaries and scholarships
- £1.6 million for Goldsmiths Students’ Union – made up of £1.1 million in block grant as well as in-kind support, accommodation, sports facilities and use of the IT network at an estimated cost of £0.5 million
- £4.6 million on other student and staff facilities. This covers direct student support services, for example the Student Centre, Accommodation Office and Careers Service, along with staff support facilities such as the Staff Development Unit and Occupational Health Service. It does not include administrative support such as the HR department or Registry
|Tuition fees and education contracts||£107,796,000|
|Funding body grants||£9,877,000|
|Research grants and contracts||£4,472,000|
|Endowment and investment income||£174,000|
|Staff, including pensions
|Other operating expenses||£37,542,000|
|Amortisation and impairment
of intangible fixed assets
|Depreciation and impairment
of fixed assets
|Interest and other finance costs||£1,789,000|
|Total with USS pension movement included||£170,081,000|
Importance of cash flow
An important part of the financial operations of any university is the ability to access cash, to meet day-to-day running costs including paying for services and goods, and paying staff – which as set out above, represents the College’s largest outgoing. This is also known as liquidity.
As part of our commitments to our sector regulator, the Office for Students, we also need to show we have enough cash to be able to continue operating. If the sum of our cash balance and unused credit facilities is expected to fall below the 30-day mark – that is, a situation where we would run out of cash within 30 days if no more money was coming into the College – we have to report this to the Office for Students.
Between 2016 and 2021, our cash and cash equivalents at the end of each financial year fell by nearly a third, from £29.9 million to £20.4 million. At certain times of the year, particularly in April and August when our cash balance is at its lowest, this put us close to the 30-day operating mark.
In 2021-22 we focused on improving the situation around our cash and cash equivalents. On 31 July 2022, cash balances stood at £36.8 million thanks to improved income and savings made across the College through the year.
This cash balance gives us greater protection against future economic shocks and gives us headroom to be able to invest in students’ learning and our staff. More detailed information is laid out in our accounts.
We also have other spending commitments from our cash reserves, including up to £2.5 million in awards for students affected by industrial action in the academic year 2021-22.
|Net cash inflow from
|As a percentage of income||14%|
|Cash and cash equivalents at the end of year||£36,801,000|