1 OXFORD UNIVERSITY G A Z E T T E UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD: FINANCIAL BU DGET FOR SUPPLEMENT (3) TO NO W E D N E S D AY, 18 OCTOBER 2006 Contents Summary outcomes for The public funding context and the central allocation of resources 244 Key financial assumptions for Comments on the budgeting process for Income and expenditure budgets: University summary 245 Medical Sciences 246 Social Sciences 246 Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences 246 Humanities 247 Continuing Education 247 Academic Services and University Collections 247 University Services and Administration 247 Council Departments 247 Estates 248 Capital expenditure plans 248 Comments on cash flow and the balance sheet 248 The budget and longer term financial trends
2 244 Oxford University Gazette Supplement (2) to No October 2006 Summary outcomes for In the face of significant cost pressures from several sources and the need to invest ahead of the RAE, Council has decided to set a deficit budget for The University budget has for several years been finely balanced at close to break-even level. In , necessary new investments in academic staff and other areas of 10.1m together with the impact of the single spine have resulted in a budgeted deficit of 8.9m. General cash reserves set aside in previous years will be called on to finance this deficit. Several of the University divisions have relatively strong financial positions with small deficits and healthy reserves. These include Medical Sciences and Social Sciences. Other divisions have weaker financial positions that will require concerted efforts to remedy. These include Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS), Academic Services and Collections (ASUC) and University Services and Administration. Plans to address the financial position will be developed in each of these areas and to support and supplement this work the University is already turning its attention to planning for and beyond to ensure that the longer-term trend once again becomes positive. The public funding context and the central allocation of resources In March HEFCE announced that the grant allocation for the Higher Education sector had increased by 5.9 per cent compared with Oxford University was awarded a headline total grant figure of 159.6m, giving a like-forlike increase of 6.5 per cent. This comprised a 3.2 per cent increase in total teaching funds and an 8.6 per cent increase in headline research funding, thus continuing the trend established over the recent period of greater increases in funding allocated to research than to teaching. As in previous years, the total grant figure was allocated to departments throughout the University in accordance with the principles of the Resource Allocation Model (RAM). These principles are well established and the process is straightforward. The HEFCE grant was first adjusted by deducting lines of funding for specific purposes such as widening participation and minority subjects, before being supplemented by the estimated amount for home and European Union student fees, including, for the first time, the estimated amount for the new variable fee. The resultant total for allocation in was 177.3m and with the inclusion of 5.8m for the new variable fee was 9.3 per cent higher than the equivalent figure for From this amount a topslice amounting to 60.4m is taken before allocating the remaining sum to departments of the University. The largest component of the top-slice is the college fee transfer (also referred to as the quantum ) of 43m. The remainder of the top-slice includes the estimated cost of undergraduate bursaries of 1.9m, 2.3m for museums, 4.6m for University Services and Administration and 6.0m for libraries. The balance of the total for allocation is first split in the ratio 60:40 between research and teaching before allocation to departments using various allocation drivers related to staff numbers, student numbers and space occupied. Important features of the allocation process included the ending of moderation and the end of supplementary funding grants. The process of moderation was originally introduced as part of the RAM in order to temper the impact of the allocation drivers on certain departments, and had the effect of taxing the RAM allocation for Medical Sciences and redistributing funds to other departments, most notably those within Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Life and Environmental Sciences. Moderation has gradually been phased out over the life of the RAM and as planned came to an end in , with the result that no moderation was applied in Supplementary funding grants of a more ad hoc nature were awarded by the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee (PRAC) in order to alleviate particularly difficult funding outcomes in certain divisions. PRAC decided not to apply this ad hoc measure in The other key part of the central allocation process is setting the amount of inflationary increase applied to the internal charges (known as the infrastructure charge) made by services such as the libraries and University Services and Administration to the academic divisions. For PRAC decided to increase the infrastructure charge by a core inflationary increase of 5 per cent, and in addition sought to make special investments in the development office and public affairs and in funding more repairs and maintenance. Incremental funds of 3.4m have been awarded to the development office over and above the core 5 per cent inflationary multiplier in order dramatically to improve the University s fundraising capabilities. Secondly, 1.0m of new funds has been allocated to repairs and maintenance. The University has an estate of some 520,000 square metres and recent benchmarking work suggests that the current spend on repairs and maintenance is around one third of the ideal amount. Whilst the University cannot afford to triple the current repairs and maintenance spend of approximately 10m per annum, a 10 per cent real increase is at least a step in the right direction. As a result of these areas of investment over and above the core inflationary allowance of 5 per cent, the overall increase in the infrastructure charge is 9 per cent. Key financial assumptions for In April, following the receipt of the grant letter, planning guidelines were published to divisions and departments. The guidelines contained details of the RAM allocations and other key financial assumptions to be used in drawing up departmental budgets together with spreadsheet based financial templates to aid detailed budgeting. The most important financial assumptions concerned pay costs, and departments were asked to make a central assumption of a 3 per cent pay increase for all staff in addition to applying an inflationary multiplier to take account of the introduction of the new national pay framework commonly referred to as the single spine. The impact of the single spine varies by grade and category of staff. On average it is expected to add a further 3 per cent inflationary pay impact with 4.3 per cent for Lecturers, Readers and Professors. In effect therefore there is double the usual impact from pay cost inflation in , and as we shall see later this has a significant impact on the overall University budget. Comments on the budgeting process for Much greater stability of the Oracle financial system and the ability to produce more detailed and meaningful
3 Oxford University Gazette Supplement (2) to No October financial reports have greatly enhanced the ability of the University to produce a more detailed and comprehensive budget than ever before. Not to be underestimated, though, are the very considerable efforts made within departments and within central administration to input more detailed financial data and to work with the financial system. The outcome is an overall University budget and three-year trend which can be reconciled to the audited financial statements of the University and broken down into departmental level components. The good progress made with the budgeting process cannot disguise the fact that the current method of allocating resources does not cope with the systematic underfunding of many elements of the University s operations. The first draft of the budget showed a much greater budget deficit of 22.9m than the revised operating deficit of 8.9m. In order to achieve this reduced level of deficit, budget improvement targets of 19.3m were issued to all divisions and service areas. All areas responded positively to the requests for budget improvements and 15.8m of improvements were delivered against the target of 19.3m. Additional unbudgeted costs of 0.8m and an overall contingency of 1m have reduced the net improvements to 14m. Clearly, however, even the reduced level of operating deficit is unsatisfactory on any continuing basis. Income and expenditure budgets Income and expenditure budgets have been prepared for each department and consolidated to produce the overall University budget. For comparative purposes actual figures are available for and forecast figures for University summary Income Surplus/(deficit)* (8.9) * Operating surplus before exceptional and one-off items. The budgeted growth in total income is very strong at 9.8 per cent and is influenced partly by the addition of new activities at the Saïd Business School, the Jenner Institute and the Grey Laboratories. The underlying rate of growth in income before additions is 8 per cent. Research income including overheads is forecast to grow by over 9 per cent, and, as a result of the new variable fee, student fees by 13 per cent. Despite the strong growth in income, the University is facing a combination of investment needs and unusually high cost inflation in a number of areas, resulting in an overall budget deficit of 8.9m. The University has been relatively close to break-even for several years. The following chart shows the historical trend both as reported and as adjusted for one-off items such as the profits from the sale of spin-out company investments. In and the University was in surplus before and after deducting one-off items was a year in which income growth was relatively low, and in particular the total HEFCE grant income (recurrent and nonrecurrent) increased by only 1.37 per cent. At the same time, non-contract research expenditure increased by 8.6 per cent. The financial outcome of the last RAE exercise was not particularly favorable to Oxford and was the first grant year to which the current RAE quality weightings were applied. In that year the research grant fell by 0.06 per cent. In and the HEFCE grant settlements were more closely aligned with the growth in expenditure, but the University was unable to recover from the impact of the decline in the grant. Moving to , the following table provides an overall explanation of the budget deficit for Reconciliation of the forecast deficit for to the budgeted deficit for m m Forecast deficit Changes in income increased HEFCE grant 11 increased trust fund income 5 increased variable fees 6 increased student fees (other than home/eu) 4 assumed additional FEC income 5 increased donation income (incl. 2m from OUP) 4 growth in core research income 19 additions (incl. Said, Jenner,Grey) 6 less one-off FEC grant (6) 54 Changes in expenditure increased pay costs due to additional staff including investment in development office and RAE and additions (11) increased pay costs due to inflation (13) other non-pay increases including investment in repairs and maintenance and the development office (15) increased contract grant expenditure (19) increased quantum settlement (2) cost of new bursary scheme (2) increased utility costs (1) (63) Budgeted deficit (9) A number of the items in this table have significant new impacts on the budgetary position of the University. The variable fee is expected to bring in approximately 6m of new income in its first year of operation, rising to approximately 18m after three years. Partially offsetting this benefit is the additional 2m cost of the new bursary scheme in the first year, rising to 6.5m after four years. One of the more uncertain aspects of the budget is the impact of FEC. For the year-on-year impact of FEC is likely to be slightly adverse, because a one-off FEC grant of 6m was recorded in In future years we would ex-
4 246 Oxford University Gazette Supplement (2) to No October 2006 pect FEC to have a significantly beneficial effect but there remains considerable uncertainty as to the amount and timing of additional funds. The 11m of increased pay costs resulting from additional non-contract research staff is equivalent to approximately 200 new heads across the University. Much of the new investment in headcount relates to recruitment needed to strengthen the academic quality of several key departments across the academic divisions ahead of the RAE. Of the approximately 140m of staff costs in divisional budgets (excluding externally funded research) approximately 5m has been identified as investment for the RAE in m of this is the element of the total of 12m made available by PRAC for restructuring and new academic development and a further 1.2m is being made available from departmental funds. A further important element of increased headcount is the investment being made in the Development Office. In total 3.4m of new funds is being made available to strengthen substantially the operation of the development office with a view to radically improving the scale of the University s fundraising. As with investment ahead of the RAE the University is expecting to see a longer term return from the investments planned for The final major component of the budgetary shift in is the effect of pay inflation brought about by the normal annual inflationary pay increase of 3 per cent (equivalent to 6m) on top of the impact of the new national pay scheme or single spine. The single spine is expected to add approximately 6m to the non-contract research funded cost base, roughly doubling the annual impact of pay inflation. There is some uncertainty here, especially with respect to future years. The budgetary assumption is that single spine costs of contract research will be fully recovered from research sponsors. Although the move to the single spine adds to the inflationary impact in , future years should benefit from the introduction of more cost-effective working arrangements as part of the national settlement. Some of the budgetary impacts noted above represent step-changes in the University cost base. For example, RAE investment, development office investment and the single spine represent a step up to a new level of expenditure, and the University would not expect to see comparable step-ups in However, other impacts will continue to accelerate. Most notably, the annual pay award has now been negotiated on a national basis through to We can therefore anticipate further inflationary rises in pay costs of 1 per cent on 1 February 2007, 3 per cent on 1 August 2007, 3 per cent on 1 May 2008 and 2.5 per cent (or RPI if greater) on 1 October With this level of inflationary multiplier effectively already committed across more than 50 per cent of the total University cost base (i.e. pay costs) future budgets will continue to be challenging. Transfers received from OUP have become increasingly important and in the budget includes a revenue transfer of 36.6m. 5m of this amount is to pay for the Clarendon Scholarship program and a further 5m is earmarked for the John Fell research fund. The remaining 26.6m is transferred to strategic reserves and is being used to make new strategic investments and to meet funding shortfalls in Turning to individual academic divisions and services areas, the following pages provide more detail area by area of the budgets for Medical Sciences Income Income per head 85,000 Income per square metre 2,731 Surplus/(deficit) (1.8) Medical Sciences is the largest academic division, representing almost one third of total University income and expenditure. It has some 2,400 staff and some 74,000 square metres of chargeable space for infrastructure charge purposes. In the previous two years the division has produced sizeable surpluses. In despite a strong RAM settlement the division expects to have a deficit of 1.8m but to return to surplus thereafter. In common with other divisions the double pay inflation impact is significant, adding 2.4m to the cost base, and RAE investment is the largest single factor driving 1.3m of extra costs due to new staff. In addition, the division is facing some 1m of incremental utilities costs, partly as a result of NHS charges. The comparatively robust financial position of the division is reflected in the healthy ratio of income per head at 85,000 and the level of income per square metre of chargeable space at 2,731. Social Sciences Income Income per head 90,000 Income per square metre 2,962 Surplus/(deficit) (0.4) (0.5) (0.8) Social Sciences is expected to continue to grow strongly in with total income up by 14 per cent. In the divisional budget was almost in balance. The division leads the way in attracting overseas students and expects to earn 30 per cent of its income from overseas and other student fees in The average across the University, by way of comparison, is 10 per cent. The original forecast for indicated a 0.5m deficit but the Division now expects to do a little better and may earn a small surplus. For a small deficit is planned in view of the RAE investments and double impact of pay inflation. Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) Income Income per head 71,000 Income per square metre 1,425 Surplus/(deficit) (1.3) (1.9) (9.1) MPLS faces significant financial challenges. Total income is virtually static, costs are increasing as for all divisions, and structurally the division is earning too little income per square metre of chargeable space occupied. At more than 87,000 square metres of chargeable space occupied the division has a similar footprint to Medical Sciences with 44 per cent less income. Latest estimates for indicate that the Division will do better than the forecast deficit of 1.9m but there is little doubt that the situation will worsen in In addition to the cost increases faced by all other divisions and discussed elsewhere in this paper, the division has absorbed two departments, Zoology and Plant Sciences,
5 Oxford University Gazette Supplement (2) to No October which are in deficit. It has also suffered from the end of moderation and the loss of one-off FEC grant income and no longer receives 2.6m of supplementary funding allocated in Humanities Income Income per head 65,000 Income per square metre 3,517 Surplus/(deficit) (0.8) (0.5) (0.4) In common with the previous two years, Humanities is budgeting for a small deficit in For this has only been achieved through stringent attention to costs. The RAM settlement was relatively healthy, with 10 per cent more funds made available. Because it has the largest number of students, Humanities received the largest proportion of the new variable fee, helping to fund new RAE investment. Continuing Education Income Income per head 69,000 Income per square metre 1,368 Surplus/(deficit) 2.9 (0.3) (0.6) Continuing Education has historically been able to run at a surplus but faces similar cost pressures to the divisions in Around 70 per cent of income comes from student fees and a further 16 per cent from the RAM settlement. For Continuing Education was adversely affected by the ending of moderation and suffered a 5 per cent drop in RAM income as a result. This, in combination with the double pay inflation, has led to a budgeted deficit of 0.6m. Relative to its size, however, Continuing Education has healthy reserves and is aiming to return to a balanced budget in Academic Services and University Collections (ASUC) Income Surplus/(deficit) (0.4) (3.0) (3.4) Despite 4.5 per cent more income available in , the cost pressures from the double pay impact, higher space costs (87,000 square metres of chargeable space) and double digit increases in the cost of some materials result in a worsening deficit in m of the deficit arises in the Oxford University Library Service (OULS). OULS has developed a long-term financial recovery plan and is currently in the process of reviewing that plan. We may now turn to areas of University activity that focus primarily on providing services to the academic divisions but which have limited external income-generating capacity. University Services and Administration University services include veterinary, biomedical, operating central computer systems, academic and student administration, research services, property management, personnel administration, financial transaction processing and legal services. University administration includes the work of the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Registrar, Audit and the senior officers in each service area including Finance, Academic Services, Planning, the Legal Office, the Development Office, Public Affairs and Research Services. University Services and Administration has a total expenditure budget of 53.5m and comprises several departments that are involved in providing services to departments and divisions, in addition to acting as a central policy-making body for the University and providing stewardship of its assets. Over the last few years the demands on University Services both in terms of volume and complexity and the need to improve quality have steadily increased and the level of funding has remained fairly static. Between and infrastructure charge and other funding is flat at 38.4m, whilst at the same time new investment is being made and inflationary cost pressures, particularly in terms of pay costs, are similar to those facing other departments across the University. In order to meet the costs of these new initiatives and to provide adequate funds for the increasingly complex service requirements, it has been necessary once again to call on strategic reserves. The funding position is described in the following chart. University University Professorial Investments* Total Administration Services Merit Awards Costs Infrastructure charge and other funding Transfer from strategic reserve Total funding * Includes Development Office of 3.4m and Public Affairs investment of 0.7m. Estimated split of costs. Strategic reserves are being deployed to support the unfunded element of the professorial merit award scheme (total costs of 4.4m are part-funded by HEFCE RDS funds of 1.5m). They are also supporting new investment of 3.4m in the Development Office in order to enhance the fundraising capability of the University and 0.7m in the Public Affairs Directorate in order to enhance public understanding of the University and its aspirations. In addition, strategic reserves are being called upon to address the under-funding of University administration activities and the under-funding of University services provided to the academic divisions. Council Departments Council departments include the Careers Service, the Sports Department, the Proctors Office, the University Club, the Counselling Service, the Learning Institute, the Sheldonian Theatre and the Childcare Advisory Panel. Income and expenditure are in balance overall, with income of 9m, and each department with the exception of the University Club is able to balance its budget. The University Club is in deficit and alternative recovery options are currently under review. The funding position is described in the following chart.
6 248 Oxford University Gazette Supplement (2) to No October 2006 m Costs 8.7 Infrastructure charge funding 3.3 Sales and services 3.5 Other 1.9 Total funding 8.7 Estates The Estates department is to receive enhanced funding commensurate with the drive to increase the funding of repairs and maintenance. Of the total 34m budget, 18m is funded through the infrastructure charge to other departments, 7.5m relates to direct external grants and 8.5m is the internal recharge of costs incurred on behalf of other departments. The 18m infrastructure charge is used to fund departmental costs, to pay for site security, to pay for rent and rates and 10.7m (up from 9.7m in ) is to pay for repairs and maintenance across 520,000 square metres of University space. The funding position is described in the following chart: m Costs 34.5 Infrastructure charge funding 18.5 Direct grants 7.5 Internal recharges 8.5 Total funding 34.5 Capital expenditure plans In parallel with the budgeting process, the University has been drawing up a long-term capital plan which provides for substantial ongoing investment to improve and expand the University s facilities over the next five years. In the period from to , the University currently plans to invest some 588m in capital projects and 243m of that investment has already been approved and committed. This is comparable with the actual spend of 434m over the preceding five years after allowance is made for the gradually increasing size of the University estate. Included within the five - year plan are many pro j e c t s l a rge and small. Some of the larger projects are the red evelopment of the Ashmolean Museum, the new book dep o s i to ry at Osney Mead, a major new building for th e B i o ch e m i st ry department, a substantial new cancer res e a rch centre on the Old Road campus, significant re f u r- bishment wo r ks at the New Bodleian, new buildings fo r Humanities and for the Department of Mathematics on the RI site, a new facility for the Department of Earth Sciences, expansion of the facilities for microbiological and e m e rging diseases and expansion of the facilities for clinical and basic neuroscience. For some projects much work is re qu i red to develop business plans and to comp l e te fundraising befo re approval can be given. Neve rtheless will be a year of re l a t i ve ly high capital expenditure with some 130m of planned spend as a number of already app roved projects move into the const ruction phase. Comments on cash flow and the balance sheet Largely as a result of the financial recovery program in the research billing and cash management areas, the University s cash position has improved significantly during , leaving the University reasonably well positioned for despite a budgeted operating deficit and heavier capital expenditure. University general cash balances Actual Forecast Budget Cash flow from operations (20) 30 9 Net capital flows (11) (18) (40) Other flows (36) (4) (1) Net cash flow before financing (67) 8 (38) Opening cash position Closing cash position The above cash forecast indicates the likely swing from being cash generative in to cash negative in as the benefits from better working capital management are largely a feature of and the University s approved capital spending program is geared up. Clearly the University has limited ability to sustain annual cash outflow at this level without resorting to asset disposals or increased borrowings. Currently the University has unused and committed borrowing facilities of 75m and Council has approved the drawing down of 50m of those facilities as and when required. The University s net assets are budgeted to grow to 1.4Bn by July 2007 and continue to be highly concentrated on fixed assets and endowments. 6 per cent of the total net assets are in a current asset form capable of being turned into more liquid assets in the short term. The budget and longer term financial trends The University is seeking to invest in important areas such as the RAE and to expand its fundraising capability. At the same time it is facing ever-increasing demands for more and better space and to properly care for the amount of space already occupied. In these factors have come together with a three-year fixed inflation deal for pay, the single biggest part of the cost base, in addition to the impact of the single spine. Taken together this has resulted in a deficit budget for and all parts of the University must now turn their attention to planning for and beyond to ensure that the longer term trend once again becomes positive.