UCD claims operations can weather Covid-19 challenge

Since February, college ability to generate non-exchequer income threatened by virus

UCD: State funding rose €4 million to €72.7 million in 2019, while the salary of UCD president Andrew Deeks increased to €207,590.  Photograph: Alan Betson

UCD: State funding rose €4 million to €72.7 million in 2019, while the salary of UCD president Andrew Deeks increased to €207,590. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

University College Dublin can sustain its operations in the current volatile environment created by the significant uncertainties associated with Covid 19, which has reduced demand from non-EU students.

That is according to a note in UCD’s annual accounts where it confirms that the college’s surplus reduced by 44 per cent to €19.46 million in the 12 months to the end of September last.

Revenues increased marginally to €591.6 million, including €28.5 million in rental income from residences on the campus. There was also record income from external research grants at €151 million – a 24 per cent increase on 2018.

State funding increased by €4 million to €72.7 million last year, while the salary of UCD president Andrew Deeks increased to €207,590.

In a note to the accounts, UCD warns that since the start of February, its ability to generate non-exchequer sources of income has been challenged by Covid-19.

International students

UCD is the most popular local university among international students coming to Ireland, and numbers further increased last year to 8,428. This represented almost 29 per cent of all students on UCD’s Dublin campuses.

The most recent figures show that for the 2018/2019 academic year it had 2,568 students from Asia and 2,141 from the US on its books.

“The college has observed a material reduction in fee booking deposits from non-EU students for the 2020/2021 academic year and it has also observed a large reduction in income for its summer 2020 business,” the note states.

“While there are significant uncertainties associated with the coronavirus outbreak, the university maintains with its healthy cash balances, continued tight cost control and its ability to generate income from other sources it can sustain its operations in the current volatile environment.”

Staff costs

At the end of September last, the consolidated college group had cash funds of €89.5 million. Its total reserves amounted to €496 million.

Numbers employed by UCD last year increased from 4,861 to 5,312 as staff costs rose from €306.53 million to €322.08 million.

The number of people earning more than €100,000 totalled 318, including 12 earning more than €200,000. Key management personnel shared €1.9 million in pay.

Its travel and hospitality bill last year totalled €11.22 million. The college and subsidiaries paid out €89.6 million on land and buildings, and it spent €8 million – or 3.9 per cent of UCD’s non-pay spend of €205 million – that did not comply with public sector procurement requirements.