Azara Blog: Cambridge Univesity deficit

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Date published: 2005/01/31

The BBC says:

Cambridge University has announced a £10.5m budget deficit for the last academic year, up from £2.2m in 2002-3.

It blamed the rise on pension costs, adding that there were "no surprises".

But the latest figures from the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate - a £6.4m profit - are included for the first time.

Without these, the deficit - on outgoings of £654m - would have risen to £16.9m. The university expects to break even within four years.

Cambridge's pro-vice-chancellor for planning and research, Tony Minson, said this was "not simply a case of balancing the books".

He added: "The university and the colleges have very high standards to maintain: world class teaching and research, unparalleled pastoral care and irreplaceable national collections and libraries - and that requires us to find new income."

Cambridge has said it will charge students the full £3,000 a year for tuition when variable fees are introduced in 2006.

The university is also increasing its fund-raising efforts, targeting former students and other donors.

Plans are in place to give individual departments more say over budgeting, to help them "decide their priorities".

"Giving individual deparments more say over budgeting" means no subsidies for any department by any other department. This is one reason why the university threatened the Architecture Department with closure. It is the bean counter view of the world. (Although obviously budgets should always be transparent so it is obvious what the subsidies are.)

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