First of all, let me wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year. I’d like to thank colleagues for their hard work and commitment during my first six months here. It’s been a highly enjoyable and rewarding period getting to grips with the University while helping pave the way for our new strategy in 2018.
As we approach the end of 2017, we’ve been busy finalising our 2016/17 Financial Statements, a document for those with an eye for figures which details our income and how we’ve spent our money. I’m delighted to report that we’re in a sound financial position despite the challenging financial climate, which was also the message during my presentation during the Vice-Chancellor’s annual address in October.
Our current strategy requires a 5% operating cash surplus and the figures show that we’ve achieved 8% in 2016/17. We’ve again increased our tuition income in line with a growth in student numbers but it’s certainly not all plain sailing. Universities face a tight budgetary backdrop over the next few years and we’re already experiencing this. Despite the growth in tuition income – our main source of income – our total income in 2016/17 fell by £7m to £505m due to a decrease in funding council grants and a small drop in research income. Meanwhile, our spending increased in 2016/17, with the focus of course remaining on teaching and research.
Although we’re in robust financial health there are challenges, as there are for universities across the country, and we will continue to be financially prudent during this period of economic uncertainty. I’m looking forward to a successful year for Cardiff University as we put our new strategy into place and build upon the excellent progress we’re making.