Income from student tuition fees up by £13 million at University of Northampton

Professor Nick Petford.
Professor Nick Petford.

The University of Northampton has increased its income from student tuition fees by almost 
£13 million in the past year, helping to make up for a reduction in direct Government funding, latest financial figures show.

The university’s 2013/14 financial statement showed the university had an income of just under £109 million, up from £101.5 million in 2012/13.

Artist's impression of the University of Northampton's new Waterside campus. ENGNNL00120120524163856

Artist's impression of the University of Northampton's new Waterside campus. ENGNNL00120120524163856

The data showed the university received more than £76 million from student tuition fees and education contracts last year helping the institution to achieve a £5.5 million surplus.

The increase in income from tuition fees was achieved despite a small drop in the amount of students studying at the university from 13,747 to 13,261. This included a drop of 230 undergraduate full-time students from 2013 to 2014.

The university charged students annual fees of £8,500 in 2013/14 and this has now increased to the maximum permitted level of £9,000 in 2014/15.

A spokesman for the University of Northampton said fees of £9,000 would ensure the university was able to invest in improving campus life for students.

The spokeswoman said: “Student experience is at the heart of what we do, which is we why we work so closely with the Students’ Union to continually invest in the areas that matter most to our students.

“In line with other Higher Education providers, the university is able to charge up to £9,000 tuition fees and we took the decision to increase the level of tuition fees to £9,000 for the 2014/15 academic year.

“This investment has been reflected in the 2014 National Student Survey results, where the University of Northampton achieved an 89 per cent overall satisfaction rate; placing us three percentage 
points above the sector average of 86 per cent for Higher Education institutions in the UK.”

The number of people employed by the university has decreased from 996 to 955, however, the amount spent on wages and salaries has increased from £42,440,000 to £43,064,000.

During the year ending July 31, 2014, the university paid out £415,329 in redundancy/severance costs. This is considerably down from £1.2 million in 2013.

The value of research and enterprise bids won during the year was £3.4 million, which the university said was a “disappointing performance” due to the knock-on effect of low levels of bidding success the previous year.

The university said it was in a “strong financial position” by generating increasing operating surpluses as a result of tight financial control and increasing efficiencies in administration.

It stated: “This year’s surplus serves to improve the balance sheet reserves to fund planned future capital projects, in particular the proposed move to a new campus located at the Waterside development site in the town centre.

“It also provides further resilience in the financial position in light of the uncertain outlook as regards increases in the permitted levels of fees income and general outlook for Higher Education Funding.”

Confirmation of the university’s move to a new £330 million town centre campus is marked down as a “post balance sheet event”.

Details of the deal revealed the university entered into a land swap with Taylor Wimpey to obtain 23 acres of land at Waterside in exchange for 8.5 acres of the current Park Campus site. Another 25 acres of land has also been purchased from Avon Cosmetics. The past year has been the first full year of the new Board of Governors, which replaced the Governing Council in May 2013. The board meets monthly. Each governor of the university received almost £3,000 in expenses for carrying out their duties throughout the year.