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Financial Statements 2023

Last updated: 8 December 2023

For the year ended 31 July 2023

Financial Statements


Members of Council and Major Council Committees

Honorary Posts, Officers and Advisers

Operating and Financial Review (incorporating the Strategic Report)

Independent Auditors’ Report to the Council of the University of Gloucestershire

Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 July 2023

Park Campus

Members of Council and Major Council Committees

Members of Council for the period 1 August 2022 to 31 July 2023

Membership of Major Council Committees as at 31 July 2023
Miss P Archer (appointed 3 July 2023)Audit and Risk Committee
Ms I BarkerMrs P Sissons *
Mr P CrichardMr P Crichard
Ms N de Iongh (Chair)Mr S Mawson
Mr C FungMs J Walkling
Mr S GardinerMs S Perret (co-opted member)
Miss E Hill (resigned 30 June 2023)Mr P Tinson (co-opted member)
Dr Louise Livesey (appointed 27 November 2022)
Mrs C Marchant (appointed 18 September 2023)Council, Foundation, and Chaplaincy Committee
Mr S Marston (resigned 31 July 2023)The Rt Revd R Springett *
Mr S Mawson (resigned 31 September 2023)Dr M Andrews
Mr S Maycock (resigned 30 October 2023)Dr A Long
Dr A Misiura (resigned 26 November 2023)Mr S Maycock
Ms M Patrick (resigned 11 August 2023)Ms J Parkin
Mr D Ramsay (resigned 26 November 2023)Revd Dr M Parsons
Dr A Shafi Ms R Reid
Mrs P SissonsMs J Tumilty
Ms E SorosMiss I Williams
Mr D SoutterRevd S Witcombe
The Rt Revd R Springett (Vice-Chair)
Mr Joe Sucksmith (appointed 27 November 2022)
Miss B Timmons (resigned 30 June 2023)
Dr P Warry
Ms J Walkling
Miss I Williams (appointed 3 July 2023)Finance and General Purposes Committee
Mr D Soutter *
Board Apprentices Mr S Gardiner
Ms J Hopkins (resigned 31 August 2022) Mr S Marston
Mr S Maycock
 Ms M Patrick
Ms T Artahona (co-opted member)
 Governance and Nominations Committee
Ms N de Iongh *
 Ms I Barker
Mr S Marston
 Mr S Maycock
Dr A Shafi
Ms J Walkling
Dr P Warry (Senior Independent Governor in attendance)
 Remuneration and Human Resources Committee
The Rt Revd R Springett *
 Ms P Archer
Ms N de Iongh
 Mr C Fung
Mrs P Sissons
 Ms E Soros
Mr D Soutter

* denotes Chair

Birds-eye view of FCH campus

Honorary Posts, Officers and Advisers

Honorary PostsRegistered Office

Lord Michael Bichard

Pro Chancellors

Rt Revd R Treweek

Fullwood House
Park Campus
The Park
GL50 2RH

The University is an exempt charity, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales: Registration Number 06023243
Executive Managers

Mr S Marston (until 31 July 2023)
Mrs C Marchant (from 18 September 2023)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Prof J Labbe **

Chief Financial Officer
Mrs C Stallard

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Enhancement and Research)
Professor S Jones (appointed 17 October 2022)

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Governance and Student Affairs)
Dr M Andrews

** Prof J Labbe acted as Interim Vice Chancellor from 1 August to 17 September 2023

Company Secretary
Dr M Andrews​
Pinsent Masons LLP (until 31 November 2022)
55 Colmore Row
B3 2FG

Mills and Reeve
(appointed 1 December 2022)
78-84 Colmore Road
B3 2AB

Harrison Clark Rickerbys Solicitors (appointed 1 December 2022)
Ellenborough House
Wellington Street
GL50 1YD

Registered External Auditors
Grant Thornton UK LLP
2nd Floor
St John’s House
Haslett Avenue West
RH10 1HS

Registered Internal Auditors
RSM UK Risk Assurance Services LLP (Appointed 1 Aug 22)
St Philips Point
Temple Row
West Midlands
B2 5AF

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc
PO Box 9
45 The Promenade
GL50 1PY

62 George White Street
Cabot Circus
Groups of students sitting on the grass with a historic building at Francis Close Hall behind them.

Operating and financial review

Executive summary

This report reviews the University’s activities in the year 2022-23 in the context of the challenges and risks within which the University operates, and comprises the following sections: 

Section 1: Delivering our Strategic Priorities 

Section 2: Financial Performance  

2.1 Key financial highlights  

2.2 Review of the year  

2.3 Financial sustainability and key performance indicators  

2.4 Payment of creditors  

2.5 Value for money  

2.6 Accounting systems  

2.7 Post balance sheet events

Section 3: Future plans, risks and developments  

Section 4: Public benefit statement  

Section 5: Senior staff remuneration  

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Remuneration and Human Resources Committee

5.3 Approach to senior staff remuneration

5.4 Remuneration of the Vice-Chancellor (Head of Institution)

5.5 Pay ratios

5.6 Remuneration of the Executive Group

5.7 External appointments

5.8 Expenses

Section 6:  Corporate Governance  

6.1 Introduction  

6.2 Summary of the University’s structure of Corporate Governance  

6.3 Financial responsibilities of the University’s Council  

6.4 Disclosure of information to Auditor  

6.5 Statement of Internal Control  

6.6 Statement by the Council Members in performance of their statutory duties in accordance with s172(1) Companies Act 2006

City Campus building from the outside featuring new windows

Section 1: Delivering our Strategic Priorities


1. 2022/23 marked the first year of delivery of the University’s new strategic plan 2022-27. The year was marked by increasing financial and operating challenges for the University and the higher education sector generally, requiring robust budgetary control and review of our operating model. Despite that, the University has been able to make progress in delivering our five strategic goals and both staff and students have delivered significant achievements over the year.

2. In Spring 2023 the University launched a significant transformation programme focused on establishing an affordable cost base, growing income and improving outcomes, and to further improve the student experience.

3. Following the announcement of his retirement by the University’s previous Vice-Chancellor after 12 years in post, Clare Marchant took up post in September 2023. The new Vice-Chancellor has great ambition for the University and all the potential it has to offer. As part of the transformation project mentioned above, Clare will be leading a review of the University’s strategic identity early in the academic year, working with staff, students and partners to establish a clearer identity and brand which responds to market demand both from prospective students and future employers.

Student Recruitment 

4. Given this financial context, the University continues to seek growth in student enrolments. Total enrolments to the University continued to increase in 2022/23, with particular growth in enrolments from international students, mostly on postgraduate study, (1608 enrolments). Since 2019/20, registered students have increased by 9% from 8,435 to 9,172 in 2022/23.

A bar chart showing the total number of students enrolled including apprenticeships from 2018 to 2023.

5. This is very welcome growth, aligned to the University’s strategic aim to be an international community. Demand from UK students for full time undergraduate programmes remains down on the previous year, reflecting wider public anxieties about student financial hardship, wellbeing and value for money. The University continues to adapt our course portfolio, marketing and recruitment activities to reflect trends in demand and employer needs. Mature students continue to represent the largest proportion of students registered at the University (29%), reflective of the growth in Allied Health and Nursing and the focus on professional courses. 

6. In addition to registered students, during 2022/23 the University enrolled 2,410 students on franchised programmes delivered by overseas partners, and a further 1,326 students were registered by partners on programmes validated by the University.

Strategic Plan Goal 1 – Education 

7. There were important developments during 2022/23 in relation to the delivery of our goal to support our students to learn well by providing an outstanding education. We have continued to reshape and rationalise our academic portfolio, increasing our focus on courses with clear professional career outcomes, including computing, health and business.   

8. The University is comfortably above benchmark standards for the Office for Students B3 metrics: continuation, completion and progression. Action plans have been implemented for the handful of courses that are below benchmark. In January 2023, we completed our submission to the latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). We took the opportunity to review and update our academic identity, which we expressed as “Through an enabling and inclusive pedagogy and strong relationships, we empower and challenge our students to achieve their ambitions both professionally and in the wider world.” We achieved a Silver TEF rating, which reflects both the progress we have made as an institution in enhancing our education offer and improving outcomes for our graduates, and the continuing need to ensure consistency across all of our programmes. A new project, “Improving Education Performance” has been launched to meet this aim.

A graphic showing the main elements that feed into the top quartile for teaching and learning metrics.

9. We were very pleased with the University’s results in the 2023 National Student Survey, where we improved by nearly 7% for Teaching on My Course, and saw a 10% improvement on Academic Support. The University scored significantly above sector and benchmarks for Assessment and Feedback.

10. The ‘overall satisfaction’ measure was not included in NSS 2023, but a number of courses achieved results above 90% for ‘Teaching on My Course’.

11. As a teaching-focused institution we expect our staff to continue to develop their pedagogical practice and over 80% of our academic staff hold a recognised teaching qualification. In August Dr Liz Berragan was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by AdvanceHE, sustaining UOG’s record as one of the most successful universities for the number of our staff who have won NTF awards for teaching excellence.

12. During the year we also reviewed our academic portfolio and the breadth of our academic partnerships. Focused on continuing a high quality of provision for students enrolled on University of Gloucestershire courses, we have identified a number of courses for closure following teach out.

Strategic Plan Goal 2 – Student Life 

13. In relation to our second strategic goal – to enable and support our students to thrive and flourish – the imperative during the year was to support students facing financial hardship. The student maintenance loan was not increased in line with inflation, meaning that more students faced difficulties in meeting their living costs. The University worked closely with our Students’ Union to provide financial support, offer free breakfasts, provide food and toiletries through Community Cupboards, and help students find part time jobs. We have been able to guarantee student accommodation in University managed halls for all first year students, including international students, and we have seen an increasing number of second and third year students wanting to stay in halls.   

14. We launched a new Sport and Physical Wellbeing Strategy in 2022/23 and we have seen a welcome increase in take-up of our organised exercise and sport programme, Move Your Way, giving students on all campuses access to a range of opportunities, including 5-a-side football sessions, Pilates, Recreational Netball, and yoga. We have kept pace with demand for mental health and wellbeing support and counselling, providing training for a wide range of student-facing staff. We have re-affirmed our participation in the Student Minds mental health programme, and prepared our submission for the Mental Health Charter Award. We have increasingly sophisticated data to track patterns of student engagement, so that we can identify and support students showing signs of disengaging.  

15. The University established a new International Student Services team during the 2022/23 academic year to deliver support and guidance to international applicants and students. International student advisors can now be accessed via our student helpzones and we have also engaged student interns to support integration activities for international students through a Buddy programme. 

Strategic Plan Goal 3 – Outcomes

16. We have made good progress towards our third goal – to support our students to achieve their full potential in their careers and their lives. The 2023 Graduate Outcomes survey showed improvements in key indicators, both compared with our own results from 2022 and relative to the University sector. 96% of our graduates progressed into employment or further study, ranking us 21st out of 134 HEIs in the survey, and top (non-specialist) in the South West region. The proportion of our students progressing to highly skilled employment or further study rose 4.4 percentage points to 71.5%. These improvements reflect sustained effort by the Your Future Plan team working with colleagues across Schools to deliver our core commitments to provide all students with opportunities for work experience, for structured reflection on employability skills gained, and to develop their own career plan. 

17. The YFP team launched a new Career Studio in Autumn 2022; the service operates both physically on each campus and as a virtual online service provides a drop-in service for students to work with Career Coaches to identify career goals and get practical support in preparing for employment opportunities. We also relaunched the University JobShop which provides a vital service to students looking for part time/temporary work and employers. 

18. Aligned to our goal of professionalising our courses, so that all lead to positive career outcomes, we continue to invest in higher and degree apprenticeships. In 2022/23 we had 923 apprentice learners, including those enrolled with our partner SERCO, and we offer a portfolio of 14 apprenticeship standards. Building on the success of our “Good” Ofsted inspection for apprenticeships in 2022, we have introduced new software to support better tracking of learner progress.  

Strategic Plan Goal 4 – Research & Innovation 

19. Our fourth goal is to undertake excellent research and encourage innovation and enterprise.  Following the major achievement of our 2021 REF submission, in which we more than doubled the size of our research submission across 13 Units of Assessment, during 2022/23 research staff have focused on continuing to increase our research outputs while giving greater focus to impact and research environment. There has been success in securing research funding, with £2.86 million won in 2022/23 compared with £2.65 million in the previous year. The publication in June 2023 of the first decisions about the design of the 2028 REF means the University can now review our research strategy to ensure we are well aligned to the new methods. We have created a new research office, and established a new Professoriate forum, to co-ordinate activities and develop our research culture and environment.

20. Following the ending of ERDF (European Regional Development Funding) EU funding, during 2022/23 the University has re-engineered the Growth Hub at Oxstalls to provide a new range of support services for business, including training and coaching through the Help to Grow programme for SMEs, and a targeted service for SMEs in Gloucester funded through the City’s Shared Prosperity Fund. The University continues to be an active partner in the Gloucester Culture Trust, helping to secure National Portfolio Organisation status from the Arts Council and sponsoring the JOLT Cultural Entrepreneurs Hub. 

Strategic Plan Goal 5 – Civic 

Our fifth goal is to promote the wellbeing and advancement of our community. Central to this ambition is the repurposing of the former Debenhams Department Store in Gloucester to create a new City Campus in the heart of the city. The building has proved challenging to redevelop, putting pressure on both budgets and timelines, but once opened will provide excellent accommodation for the School of Health and Social Care, a new City Library in partnership with the County Council, and an Arts, Health and Wellbeing Centre in partnership with Gloucestershire NHS. The building is in part funded through Levelling Up Funds, awarded in partnership with Gloucester City Council as the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-project regeneration programme which will bring new vibrancy and future growth to the City. The University has been awarded £9.7m in UK Government / Levelling up Funding and as at 31 July 2023 £8.4m has been received to date, £5.9m of which was received during 2022/23.

Funded by UK Government and Powered by Levelling Up logos side by side.

21. The other significant capital project initiated by the University in 2022/23 is also linked to our civic purpose. In December 2022 the Office for Students awarded the University £5.8 million of capital grant to support development of new facilities for our computing programmes, including a new cyber security operations centre, as part of a successful strategic investment by the University to build our profile in cyber and computing. That in turn allows us to contribute actively to the growth of this key sector of the economy in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire, including the Golden Valley Cyber Park adjacent to GCHQ.

22. Sustainability is a core value for the University and during the year our Secondary Education teacher trainees delivered sustainability learning experiences linked to their PGCE subject specialisms, to over 130 local primary school children, celebrating with a mock graduation ceremony on campus. 

Carbon Emissions Reporting  

23. The University is committed to improving energy efficiency, reducing energy use and corresponding CO2 emissions. As required by relevant law and regulations, the University reports annually against the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) protocol. The data collected and analysed using the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Protocol – Corporate Standard methodology, are detailed below:

Natural Gas consumption for on site operations (heating, catering, etc) – Scope 1 KWh 4,902,2496,647,501
Fuel used for site vehicle activity – Scope 1 KWh 21,22610,000
Total CO2 emissions for Scope 1 activities (fuels used on site for organisational activity) Tonnes 8881,345
Electricity supplied from off site generation for consumption by on site operations (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, lighting, computers, etc) – Scope 2 KWh 4,583,5244,638,388
Electricity generated and used on site (Photo voltaic cells) KWh 00
Total CO2 emissions for Scope 2 activities (energy generated off site and used on site for organisational activity) Tonnes 949897
Total Scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions Tonnes (for ESG target) 1,8372,242
New ESG Carbon emissions target set by business April 2022 – 36% reduction in combined Scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions from existing footprint by 2027 compared to 2018/19 emissions. 15% reduction (Note: target for year was 22% reduction. Target missed due to increase in UK Gov emissions factor for electricity. If UK emissions factor had followed previous trajectory ESG target would have been achieved)4.4% increase
Emissions from business travel in rental cars or employee -owned vehicles where company is responsible for purchasing the fuel (Scope 3) Tonnes 3092
Total CO2 emissions attributed to activity of business (Scope 1, 2 & 3) Tonnes 18672334
Carbon emissions target set by business – 33% reduction in Scope 1 & 32% reduction in Scope 2 CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2018/19 emissions (note; new target set Sept 2021) Scope 1 = 13% reduction
Scope 2 = 15% reduction
Scope 1 = 31% increase Scope 2 = 20% reduction
Intensity Ratio – Tonnes CO2 emitted per 1000m2 Gross Internal Area 20.926.2
Methodology: Data was collected and analysed using a method based on the Green House Gas Reporting Protocol – Corporate Standard

Renewable energy supply:  

All of our electricity is procured on a renewable energy tariff. In 2019 the University entered a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) ensuring 20% of electricity is supplied from windfarms. During 2022/23 the University continued to review the market with regard to an increased provision via a CPPA. A proposal is under development and will be taken up if pricing is advantageous. 

Actions taken to reduce consumption in past 12 months:  

The 7 air source heat pumps (Salix funded £1.25M project) that were installed during spring 2022 and fully commissioned during winter 22/23 reduced consumption, with a consequential, smaller increase in electricity consumption. These units helped reduced Scope 1 emissions. 

The heating temperature set point was reduced across the estate from 21C to 19C, reducing gas consumption. The heating schedules were also changed for all of the non-residential estate, shortening the heating season and timings during the day. Both of these measures significantly reduced Scope 1 emissions. 

During summer 2023 relamping projects replaced old light fittings with energy efficient, LED lamps in our Halls of Residences at Oxstalls Campus. The impact of this project on electricity consumption will be seen during 2023/24. 

The £3.3M Salix grant obtained in 2022 to replace gas boilers at City Campus with electric heating and improve insulation of external walls and windows continues to progress. Much of the energy efficient glazing and wall insulation has been installed and the heating aspect of project is due for completion January 2024. 

Oxstalls pond in the sunshine with ducks on the water

Section 2: Financial performance

Financial performance is key to ensuring that the University continues to be a successful and sustainable organisation, cash generation being a primary focus.

The University has prepared its financial statements in accordance with FRS 102 and the financial highlights are below.

2.1  Key financial highlights 

2.2  Review of the year 

The University reports a consolidated operating deficit for the year of £2.0m (2022: £7.7m). The reported deficit is after accounting for the FRS102 LGPS & USS (non-cash) pension charges of £1.4m (2022: £7.8m). The loss on disposal of fixed assets of £1.1m has been offset by the release of capital grant funding. It is recognised a deficit is being reported for a second year but the result is an improvement on prior year reflecting the controlled environment being operated.

Despite the continued challenging market conditions the University has achieved a targeted cash generation from operating activities of 10% (2022: 11.3%) a decrease of 10%. Cash generation, liquidity and covenant compliance continues to be our primary focus; all of which have exceeded our Finance Strategy targets.

The last five years has seen significant asset investment, delivering a stable net asset position of £97.0m before pension liability (2022: £97.9, 2021: £97.9m, 2020: £92.0m, 2019: £90.1m).

Despite the continued and increasing challenging external operating environment for the University and the higher education sector generally regarding capped tuition fees and cost of living crisis, the income position for the University has seen growth of 8% year on year. 

Bar chart showing university income from the years 2019-20 to 2022-23.

Capital investment of £22.6m has been invested during the year with £18.8m relating to the City Campus development. The City Campus development has been supported by several successful capital grant bids awarded in 21/22. Capital expenditure in the year has also continued to deliver additional and upgraded space and facilities for new and expanding courses across the portfolio. 

Fixed assets of £1.2m were disposed of during the year relating to C11 at Berkeley, the disposal created a loss of £1.1m which was fully offset against a release of deferred capital grant funds previously received and held on the balance sheet.

IT investment continues to support the business maintaining the core systems and infrastructure in addition to delivering significant projects to support and improve the student experience. 

Following a successful re-financing exercise in May 2022 and securing a new loan facility with Barclays of £14m to assist the financing of the development of the new City Campus capital project, our long-term borrowings (secured loans) at year end are £30.0m (2022: £22.9m).  

During 22/23 £9m was drawn from the new £14m facility the remaining £5m is due to be drawn down in 23/24 to continue funding the City Campus development. 

The gearing ratio (including Service Concession) has increased to 38.6% (2022: 33.4%) sitting below the target of 45% set out in the Finance Strategy. 

All bank covenants are reported as compliant.  

Cash deposits are invested in accordance with the University’s Treasury Management Policy. The prime requirement of the policy is for capital sums to be distributed between approved financial institutions to ensure minimal risk exposure. 

Deposits held with any one bank should not exceed £7m. At the balance sheet date £29.8m was placed on deposit with a number of banks; average monthly balances held by deposit takers over the year were £29.0m (2022: £22.7m). 

The year-end liquidity position has continued to exceed the target of 100 days set out in the Finance Strategy and at the year-end liquidity levels stood at 138 days (2022: 136 days). 

Retirement benefits for employees of the University are provided by a number of defined benefit schemes. The financial results continue to include the accounting impact of FRS 102. 

Under the Gloucestershire County Council Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) the net pension liability as at 31 July 2023 has decreased by £8.38m to £0.0m (2022: £8.38m; 2021: £70.0m), despite the scheme now being fully funded and reporting a surplus of £19m. The decrease in the liability this year is due primarily to the change in financial (higher net discount rate) and demographic assumptions (longevity) resulting in the present value of the expected future liabilities being lower than the growth of the asset returns.  

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and Church of England Funded Pension Scheme (CEFPS) are multi-employer schemes for which it is not possible to identify the assets and liabilities to the University for members and are therefore accounted for as defined contribution retirement benefit schemes. The net pension liabilities for any contractual commitment to fund past deficits have been identified within provisions: USS: £659k (2022: £887k), CEFPS: £0k (2022: £2k). 

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is a multi-employer unfunded scheme and the University’s share of assets and liabilities cannot be separately identified. This scheme is therefore accounted for as a defined contribution retirement benefit scheme. 

Employer contributions to pension schemes were as follows: 

Pension scheme Current Contribution rate 2022/23
LGPS 22.10% plus £159k pa 3,629 3,790 
USS 21.10% 199 199 
TPS 23.68% 4,931 4,577 
Defined Contribution Scheme 10.0% 207 37 
Others including Church of England Scheme 39.9% (CEFPS) 10 10 
Total  8,976 8,613 

From September 2021 all new professional services staff, except for those with continuous pensionable LGPS service are recruited through the newly incorporated subsidiary company, University of Gloucestershire Professional Services Limited (UOGPSL) and were eligible to join the new Defined Contribution Pension Scheme with Legal & General, the scheme has been awarded the Pension Quality Mark (PQM) Plus accreditation. 

2.3 Financial sustainability and key performance indicators

Management continue to closely monitor the financial position of the University, taking appropriate action where needed to ensure it maintains a stable platform to enable it to face the current and future challenges in the HE sector. 

As part of the development of the new University Strategic Plan, the Finance Strategy has been updated, with the 2022-2026 Finance Strategy being approved by Council in May 2022. The new Strategy ‘Sustainable Growth’ has been designed to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the University, delivering an integrated approach linking academic, financial and business planning issues, enabling investment and development and underpinning the delivery of an excellent student experience.   

We measure success through the Key Financial Indicators agreed within the Strategy, which are actively monitored to support delivery of the University’s financial goals. Regular business review planning meetings are also held through the year to monitor progress against School and Department key performance indicators supporting the University’s operational and business plans. 

The primary financial goals of the 2022-26 Finance Strategy are to: 

Performance against the targets included in the Finance Strategy is set out below: 

Key financial indicator   Performance  2022-23  Finance strategy target  2022 to 2026 
Cash generation from operating activities 10% of turnover 10% of turnover 
Operating surplus (before FRS102 pension charge)   (0.4)% of turnover4.5% of turnover 
Year-end liquidity ratio (cash & investments / expenses less depreciation)138 days To exceed 100 days 
*Interest cover ratio to exceed 1:1.12.6 1:1.1 
Gearing – External borrowings (all borrowings and service concessions) 38.6% of turnovernot to exceed 45% of turnover 
EBITDA (before FRS102) as a % of total turnover5.2% of turnoverTo exceed 10% of turnover 
Investment in capital and maintenance
– capital (estates, equipment and IT)   
– recurrent maintenance 

Investment as a % of turnover:   

*As defined by bank loan contracts

2.4 Payment of creditors 

It is the University’s policy to obtain the best terms for all its business activities and therefore terms are negotiated with individual suppliers. The University aims to pay creditors in line with its terms and conditions set out on individual purchase orders; these terms may vary by agreement or contract, or by statutory or regulatory conditions. The University paid 94.1% (2022: 96.6%) of the 7,012 invoices received within 30 days of them being determined as valid and undisputed. The average (median) payment time for invoices was 19.0 days (2022: 19.1 days). The University did not receive or make any payments in respect of the late payment of invoices.  

2.5 Value for Money

The Office for Students requires institutions to provide regular publication of clear information about arrangements for securing value for money including provision of a value for money statement along with data about the sources of its income and the way that its income is used. The University monitors and reports on Value for Money for Students across three gauges:

An annual report on Value for Money is presented to Audit and Risk Committee to provide assurance that the University is delivering value for money from public funds. The University is committed to make the best use of the resources that it has available, to deliver intended services and maximise the benefit achieved from those services, and to provide excellent value for money to students. We are committed to continued close working with the Students Union to understand what drives student perceptions of value for money, and how the University can best work over time to improve those perceptions.

2.6 Accounting systems

The University continues with the development of the Agresso accounting software and related systems by undertaking regular system upgrades. A finance system upgrade was completed during the year.

2.7 Post balance sheet events

Since the financial year end the University has taken the decision not to go ahead with the redevelopment of the Reynolds building project and withdraw the planning application. The University remains committed to enhancing its Cyber and Computing facilities in Cheltenham. The decision has been treated as an adjusting event with £0.3m of contracted costs incurred during 22/23 being written off and reflected in the financial statements. 

Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust, who managed the Oxstalls Sports Centre, and Sports Arena ceased trading on 29 September. All facilities were forced to close having a significant impact on the University and local community. The University took the swift decision to take over operational responsibility of its own facilities allowing the services to re-open. Positive conversations with Gloucester City Council continue how future community bookings will be managed.

On 29 September 2023, the University exchanged conditional contracts for the sale of the playing fields currently known as The Folley in Cheltenham.

two male students working on a laptop

Section 3: Future plans and risks

The University’s operating environment remains very challenging, as it does for many Universities.  During the year there has been much sector and media commentary that the current financial system for higher education is not sustainable for the long term. For many universities like UoG, whose primary source of income is the fees paid by home undergraduate students, the Government’s continuing freeze on the regulated fee is creating significant financial pressure. The regulated fee was set at £9,000 in 2012 and, except for one increase to £9,250 in 2017, has been frozen at that level ever since. At the same time, Universities have faced annual increases in their costs, including the recent impacts of inflation over 10% and pay and pensions increases.   

Student recruitment remains the key driver of sustainable financial performance, and the continued cap on regulated home tuition fees has eroded the real terms value of the fee over the decade by nearly 30%. Concurrently operating costs, driven by inflation and rising pay and pensions costs, continue to increase. Our key risk relates to this frozen unit of income and the need to grow our student numbers, diversify our income and control our costs. The rising 18 year old population and the continued global attraction of UK higher education provides an opportunity for the University to grow its students numbers to the end of the decade where it is anticipated the upward trajectory of 18 year old applications will continue. Overseas recruitment continues to be a growth area and focus for the University, although we recognise the risk of over-reliance given the political focus on cutting migration and evolving government policy regarding international students. The University welcomes the recent extension of Horizon Europe that now allows our researchers to apply for funding through the EU research and innovation programme. 

The University launched a transformation programme in Spring 2023. In early summer 2023 we completed an academic redesign that has resulted in a leaner, more effective, and more cohesive leadership and School structure. The programme represents significant change for staff and students and during the 2023/24 academic year we will be restructuring our professional services teams so as to ensure an efficient and future-facing operating model at an affordable cost base. The University will be launching a new Digital Strategy as an enabler to this transformation, including the introduction of digital solutions to allow 24/7 student support. In addition, the University has embarked on a non pay spend review, which is designed to identify immediate cost savings and also  to challenge the effectiveness and commercial value achieved through existing contracts with the intention of reducing the cost base and gaining greater value through our procurement 

The University has a very wide offer for students and during the year we will review our academic portfolio so that our courses focus on our strengths and the needs of regional and national employers. Developing our strengths in computing and cyber will be at the heart of this, and we are planning estates developments to support this to be operational by 2025. 

In the 2023/24 academic year we will develop a new Estates plan which will consider how we optimise  the use of our estate, in the short, medium and long term, a key aspect of which will be the new City Campus in Gloucester. 

Two female students walk underneath an arch which says Cheltenham Jazz festival.

Section 4: Public Benefit Statement

The University of Gloucestershire is an exempt charity under the terms of the Charities Act 2011. As an exempt charity it is not required to be registered with the Charity Commission, but is however subject to the Charity Commission’s regulatory powers which are monitored by the Office for Students. The University Council have due regard to the Charity Commission’s public benefit guidance. The Council have taken into account the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit and are satisfied that the activities of the University as described in these financial statements fully meet the public benefit requirements.     

The objectives of the University are the advancement of the Higher and Further Education of men and women by the provision, conduct and development of a university for the advancement of education, teaching, advice and research. The preceding sections, particularly sections two and three, more fully describe the activities of the University and should be considered alongside this statement, to gain a full understanding of the extent to which the activities of the University deliver a benefit to society.      

The prime beneficiaries are the students of the University of Gloucestershire who are engaged in learning, personal development and research activities. Other beneficiaries include employers, businesses, school children and the general public. Staff and students also engage in voluntary action in the local community and overseas.       

The University continues to support access to arts, musical and other cultural events. This includes long standing support for the Cheltenham Science Festival, Jazz Festival, and Literature Festival – a partnership which enables students to access work placement and performance opportunities. The University is also a sponsor of the Gloucester History Festival, with students exhibiting and presenting their research; Wychwood Festival, where students actively contribute to running the stages; and the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, hosting events on the programme. It is an active contributor to the Gloucester Culture Trust, particularly focused on cultural entrepreneurship, and is working with the Trust, Gloucester City Council and a range of other key stakeholders on the vision and programme for King’s Square, Gloucester, and the wider regeneration of the city – with the main entrance for its new City Campus opening out into this space. A new Health and Wellbeing Centre that will pilot ground-breaking therapies and interventions to improve community health and wellbeing will open as part of our City Campus project, and that development will also accommodate the new Gloucester City Library, providing vital facilities for the local community. 

Education at the University of Gloucestershire reaches far beyond the classroom. We pride ourselves on being an academic community that is student-centred, learning-led and research-informed.     

Of the 9,172 students registered at the University in 2022/23, 23.6% identified themselves as having a disability, 18.4% identified themselves as Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME).  The University is committed to extending the diversity of its student body and runs a programme of outreach and financial support to ensure that there is fair and equal access for all.     

Outreach activities are now back to pre-pandemic levels, with a significant increase in activities in 2022/23. The Outreach Team have supported delivery of 436 activities with 26,711 participants in Schools and Colleges, both on and off campus. Subject-specific activities were delivered to primarily post-16 participants. 

The University works predominantly with schools and colleges, including institutions in its partnership network in Gloucestershire and neighbouring counties. It has strong strategic partnerships with further education colleges in the area, including South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and Yeovil College, and the new Institute of Technology in Swindon. Interventions are in place to work with a wide range of students to ensure our intake reflects all areas of society. Such projects include residential summer schools, opportunities to access subject taster sessions and application support.  The University is supporting the Cheltenham Education Partnership of state and independent secondary schools in Cheltenham.     

In 2022/23 the University provided around £2.5m in financial support to students through fee discounts, fee waivers and bursary awards. The University supports students from under-represented groups by offering financial support and a large financial assistance fund. Scholarships and bursaries are available to those who progress onto a course at the University having previously studied at a partner school or college, whilst fee discounts are provided to alumni who wish to progress to postgraduate study.  Examples include the Care Leavers Bursary for undergraduate students of £4,000 spread over three years of study. and the Sport Excellence Bursary for elite sport students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds. 

In 2022/23 the University awarded hardship funds totalling £330k, including £81k of additional hardship funding from the Office for Students, to over 290 students. An additional £170k of funding from Higher Education England was distributed to 327 nursing and allied health students to assist with cost of travel and accommodation for placements. 

A group of male and female international students walking away from a bus.

Section 5: Senior Staff Remuneration

5.1 Introduction   

The University is committed to transparency in senior staff remuneration, and the publication of this report as part of our annual financial statement is an important part of that commitment. This section is the annual report from the Remuneration and Human Resources Committee (RHRC) to Council, as required by the CUC Code.     

Throughout this report ‘senior staff’ is understood to mean the University Executive Committee (UEC), as defined in section 5.6. The UEC includes the Vice-Chancellor but as described below, the approach to setting remuneration for the Vice-Chancellor differs from that adopted for other members of the Executive group.    

The Council has adopted the Committee of University Chairs (CUC) ‘Higher Education Senior Staff Remuneration Code’ (November 2021), including the supporting documents referred to by this Code, in its approach to senior staff remuneration. In June 2021, the Remuneration and Human Resources Committee also considered the ‘Independent review of the HE Senior Staff Remuneration Code’ produced by Advance HE. During 2021/22, Council, through its Remuneration and Human Resources Committee (RHRC), considered the latest version of this Code and undertook a self-assessment of its practices and agreed several enhancements. 

Council also has regard to the ‘Good Pay Guide for Charities and Social Enterprises’ (December 2013) issued by the Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and has agreed to adopt the CUC ‘Guidance on Decisions Taken about Severance Payments in HEIs’ (June 2018) for all staff in the UEC including the Vice-Chancellor. Council, through its Audit & Risk and Finance & General Purposes Committees, also ensures it follows the stipulations regarding senior staff remuneration contained in the latest publications issued by the Office for Students, including the Accounts Direction.

5.2 Remuneration and Human Resources Committee   

Council has established a Remuneration and Human Resources Committee (RHRC). This committee is responsible for the development of remuneration and reward policies for all senior staff together with terms and conditions of employment for such staff, and for discussion of the University’s human resources strategy and pay framework for all staff.    

Council believes there are benefits from a single committee having a holistic view of all staff policy and pay matters, including senior staff. The Vice-Chancellor themself is not a member of RHRC and plays no role whatsoever in establishing their own remuneration but attends for relevant agenda items including discussions concerning the performance of other members of the Executive group as well as discussions concerning the University’s overall approach to pay, conditions and HR strategy for all staff. With a view to ensuring transparency a Student Member of Council is included in the membership of RHRC.    

RHRC also has responsibility to Council for the oversight of pay gaps based on gender, ethnicity and other protected characteristics, as well as equal pay and other human resources matters. It meets three times per year (normally October, March and June) with additional meetings as required. 

RHRC is independent, being made up exclusively of External Members of Council plus one Student Member. The membership of RHRC includes the Chair of Council. The competence of its membership is reviewed annually by Council through its Governance and Nominations Committee. This includes consideration of an individual’s expertise on appointment to RHRC as well as through the annual effectiveness review process led by the Chair of Council. The Chair of RHRC is ex officio the Vice-Chair of Council. Membership in 2022/23 was as follows: 

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The full Terms of Reference and Membership for RHRC (as with all Council sub-committees) may be found on the University Council webpage.

5.3 Approach to Senior Staff Remuneration   

The University takes very seriously the need to set pay levels for all staff that are proportionate, that reflect the level of responsibility of the role, and enable us to attract and retain staff of the highest calibre. We are also conscious of the balance to be struck between recruiting, retaining and rewarding the best staff possible, in order to deliver the best outcomes for students, society and the economy, while demonstrating effective use of resources and value for money for students in the use of the University’s overall resources.    

To ensure its approach to senior staff remuneration remains appropriate, RHRC periodically receives senior remuneration benchmarking reports from UCEA and other external sources which benchmarks the pay of Executive Group staff against sector norms. The last such report was presented to RHRC in 2022. This provided HE sector wide and external benchmarking information and commentary on the remuneration for Vice-Chancellors and other Executive roles, taking into account market movements and income and other elements. 

Members of the Executive are appointed on fixed basic salaries as determined by job evaluation review and relevant benchmarking, which, subject to satisfactory performance, are normally increased each year in accordance with the nationally determined pay award. Exceptionally, due to prevailing financial circumstances, RHRC agreed not to award the February 2023 element of the 2023/24 pay award to members of the Executive. 

Each member of the Executive group has annual performance objectives and an annual performance review with their line manager (this is the Chair of Council for the Vice-Chancellor, and the Vice-Chancellor for other members of UEC). RHRC also receives a report on the performance of the Executive group from the Vice-Chancellor. In addition to these reference points, RHRC also considers the broader institutional context of the University when determining Executive pay and the pay awards for all staff. 

During the year, the policy for a salary supplement in lieu of pension contributions for staff who exceed the Lifetime Allowance was removed due to changes in taxation making the policy redundant.

5.4 Remuneration of the Vice-Chancellor (Head of Institution)   

In the light of continuing debate about the pay of senior staff in universities, and particularly Vice-Chancellors, the Council and RHRC have kept the issue under close review. RHRC is also acutely aware of the Vice-Chancellor’s critical role in achieving the University’s strategic objectives in an increasingly competitive environment.    

In 2022/23 the Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, received total remuneration of £195,510, (21/22: £189,816) comprising salary of £174,563, payment in lieu of pension of £20,947. The Vice-Chancellor received no employer contributions towards pension, having opted to terminate his active membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme. The salary for the Vice Chancellor remained substantially below average remuneration of Vice-Chancellors across the sector.   

The tenure of the Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, ended on 31 July 2023. The Vice-Chancellor received £65,250 as Payment in Lieu of Notice and £50,750 as compensation for loss of employment. 

The Council’s normal approach is that each year the Vice-Chancellor agrees with the Chair of Council a set of performance objectives and targets for the year. With a view to transparency, those objectives are made available to all Council members, and published with the Vice-Chancellor’s newsletter to all members of University staff. At the end of each year, the Vice-Chancellor’s performance is assessed against those objectives and targets and their performance is reviewed by the Chair of Council. The Chair provides a summary of that review to RHRC for discussion in the absence of the Vice-Chancellor. A recommendation on remuneration is then made to Council for approval, reflecting judgements by the Chair and the Committee of the Vice-Chancellor’s performance against the objectives and targets, and taking account of the University’s wider operating environment, the consequent level of challenge in the role, and the University’s position in the higher education sector. On this basis, the University’s Council can be confident that the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration package was appropriate. In anticipation of the Vice-Chancellor’s departure this normal process for setting performance objectives was not adopted in 2022/23. New objectives will be set for the incoming Vice-Chancellor for 2023/24.       

Since his appointment in 2011, in no year has the Vice-Chancellor accepted a pay increase higher than the national pay award for University staff (excluding incremental drift). The Vice-Chancellor has never accepted a re-evaluation of his pay based on information provided by external benchmarking exercises.  Although the Vice-Chancellor’s contract provides for the award of a performance-related bonus, he has not taken such a bonus in any year. The Vice-Chancellor’s pay has consistently been significantly below sector median benchmarks, and significantly below sector median pay ratios. The Vice-Chancellor is not provided by the University with any accommodation or a car. The emoluments of the Vice-Chancellor are provided in Note 8 of the financial statements.   

In June 2023, Clare Marchant was appointed as the next Vice-Chancellor with a start date of 18 September 2023. Following a benchmarking exercise, the role was advertised with a salary range of £175k to £200k. The appointment was made at £200k per year and this information has been made publicly available. 

Jackie Labbe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost was appointed as Acting Vice-Chancellor from 1 August 2023 until Clare Marchant commences her tenure on 18 September 2023. There is no additional remuneration for acting up during this period.

5.5 Pay Ratios   

The University calculates pay ratios according to the guidance issued by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA). The methodology is informed by pay multiple reporting requirements in the public sector which were implemented following the Hutton Review of Fair Pay in the Public Sector (2011).     

The pay ratio in 2022/23 between the total pay of the Vice-Chancellor (£195,510) and the median full-time equivalent earnings of the whole University workforce (£41,389) was 4.72 compared to a UK average of 7.0. In 2021/22 the ratio was 3.98.   

The pay ratio in 2022/23 between the total pay of the Vice-Chancellor and the median full-time equivalent of the University Group workforce (£44,864) was 4.36. In 2021/22 the ratio was 4.03.    

5.6 Remuneration of the Executive Group   

RHRC has delegated authority from Council to approve the remuneration, terms and conditions of employment and all other benefits of all members of the Executive group (with the exception of the Vice-Chancellor). The members of the University Executive Committee during 2022/23 (excluding the Vice-Chancellor) were as follows:    

As explained above, there is a robust and consistent process for setting objectives and assessing each member of the Executive group’s contribution to the performance of the University and the achievement of its strategic objectives. No individual, including the Vice-Chancellor, is involved in deciding their own remuneration, including any discretionary performance-related element if applicable.    

The table in Note 8 of the financial statements provides information concerning the number of staff with a basic salary of over £100,000 per annum, broken down into bands of £5,000.    

5.7 External appointments    

The University’s standard contract of employment confirms that all staff on full-time contracts (including members of the Executive group) are required to devote their full time, attention and abilities to their duties during their working hours and to act in the best interests of the University at all times.  Accordingly, all staff must not, without the written consent of the University, undertake any employment or engagement that might interfere with the performance of their duties or conflict with the interests of the University.    

Every staff member is therefore required to notify their manager of any employment or engagement which they intend to undertake whilst in the employment of the University. The manager (including the Chair of Council in the case of the Vice-Chancellor) will then confirm whether the employment or engagement is permissible.    

The University’s position on these matters for senior staff, including on the retention of income derived from external activities, is described in the policy for senior staff on external activities.

5.8 Expenses   

The University has a single published scheme for expenses that applies to all staff; the University Staff Expenses Policy. RHRC receives an annual assurance that the scheme is operating effectively. 

A group of 5 students walking through Park campus green space.

Section 6: Corporate Governance

6.1  Introduction   

The University is incorporated as a private company limited by guarantee, and is an exempt charity under the terms of the Charities Act 2011. Its objects, powers and framework of governance are set out in the Articles of Association, with the amended and latest set of Articles approved the University Council on 11 May 2021.      

The University conducts its business in accordance with the seven principles identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership), and is committed to best practice in all aspects of corporate governance. The University’s Council has adopted, and ensured compliance with, the Committee of University Chairs’ (CUC) Higher Education Code of Governance (2020), and has conducted its business in accordance with CUC good practice and principles and in line with the public interest governance principles as articulated by the Office for Students (OfS) in the ‘Regulatory framework for higher education in England’, including the regulatory notices and advice.      

6.2  Summary of the University’s structure of corporate governance    

Council is the governing body of the University, responsible for setting the general strategic direction of the institution, for ensuring proper accountability, and for the strategic oversight of its finances, property and investments and the general business of the University. Council has a membership of 20: a majority of whom are non-executive and independent, together with student and staff representatives (both academic and non-academic) and the Vice-Chancellor.  Members of Council (as well as members of the University Executive) are only appointed after demonstration that they satisfy the definition of ‘fit and proper persons’ as articulated by the OfS in the ‘Regulatory framework for higher education in England’.    

 The roles of Chair and Vice-Chair of Council are separated from the role of the University’s Chief Executive, the Vice-Chancellor. The responsibilities specifically reserved to the Council are set out in the Articles of Association of the University, and further elaborated in the Statement of Primary Responsibilities and Scheme of Delegation.      

 In the conduct of its formal business, in addition to an annual strategic away day, the Council meets six times a year. Following the introduction of social distancing measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some meetings of Council and its subcommittees are now held online. The formally constituted committees of Council are: Audit and Risk Committee, Finance and General Purposes Committee, Governance and Nominations Committee, Remuneration and Human Resources Committee, and the Council, Foundation, and Chaplaincy Committee.  All of these committees are constituted with formal terms of reference and membership, which are reviewed on an annual basis. The Scheme of Delegations further details the specific delegated powers of these committees. All these documents may be found on the University Council webpage.  

The Academic Board is the academic authority of the University and draws its membership from the staff and students of the University.  Its principal role is to direct and regulate the teaching and learning and research work of the University and to advise Council accordingly.  A member of Council is appointed from amongst the members of Academic Board, and the Member of Academic Staff elected to Council is also ex officio a member of Academic Board.  The Vice-Chancellor is Chair of the Academic Board. The Academic Board and Council hold an annual joint meeting.   

The Audit and Risk Committee has responsibility for monitoring the effectiveness of the University’s risk management, control and governance arrangements, along with the arrangements to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness throughout the institution, and advises the Council accordingly.  The Committee exercises oversight over internal audit arrangements, including recommending the appointment of internal auditors.  It considers internal audit reports and recommendations for the improvement of the University’s systems of internal control, together with management’s responses and implementation plans.  The Committee also exercises oversight over external audit arrangements, such as the nature, scope and effectiveness of the process, and considers the audit aspects of the institution’s financial statements.  It also advises the Council on the appointment of external auditors. In accordance with recommended practice, the Committee, which met four times during the year, provides the opportunity at each meeting for members to meet with the internal and/or external auditors without officers of the University present.    

The Finance and General Purposes Committee is responsible for monitoring and advising Council on the financial health of the University, including the financial strategy, budget setting, annual accounts, investment activity, and consideration of capital expenditure and estates development. The Committee also has responsibility for monitoring institutional level Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in order to measure and monitor University performance against agreed strategies and targets.      

The Governance and Nominations Committee is responsible for a range of governance related issues including recommendations to Council on the appointment of new independent members and the spread of skills and experience of all Council Members. The Committee monitors and reviews the development and implementation of good governance practice, including oversight of the test to determine that Council Members are ‘fit and proper persons’ within the meaning defined by the Office for Students.     

The Remuneration and Human Resources Committee is responsible for the development of remuneration and reward policies for senior staff together with terms and conditions of employment for such staff, and for discussion of Human Resources Strategy for all staff. Further details are included in this section.    

The Council, Foundation, and Chaplaincy Committee oversees those aspects of the University’s mission and objects relating to its Anglican identity, to support the work of the University’s Senior Chaplain and the Chaplaincy Team, to encourage its relationship with the Cathedrals Group, and its partnerships with the Foundation Fellows and the Diocese of Gloucester.      

The Council recognises that, in accordance with best practice recommended in the CUC Higher Education Code of Governance, regular reviews of the effectiveness of the Governing Body should be undertaken. The last external review of governance arrangements commenced at the end of the 2019/20 financial year and reported in 2020/21. This was a detailed, comprehensive, and externally-led review undertaken by Advance HE. The review combined a desk-based study with interviews with members of Council and its officers, observations of Council and its committees, a detailed questionnaire, and other activities. The University’s governance structures and arrangements were evaluated against the latest CUC Higher Education Code of Governance and other benchmarks and comparisons made against the practices employed elsewhere in the higher education and other sectors. The report concluded that governance at the University is effective: ‘It is enabled by robust practices, policies and processes and realised through a Council and wider governance structure that is fit for purpose and clearly committed to the institution’s long term success. Council and external stakeholders should be assured that the University is compliant with the regulatory requirements and that in all its essentials the University is well governed and effectively led. The Council has commenced planning for a review with external input in 2023/24. This will employ a chain of reciprocal reviews with two other institutions.

6.3  Financial responsibilities of the University’s Council     

In accordance with the University’s Articles of Association, the Council is responsible for the oversight of the University’s affairs and is required to present audited financial statements for each financial year, which include a statement on corporate governance and internal control.    

Working through its established sub-committees, the Council is responsible for keeping proper accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the University and to enable it to ensure that the financial statements are prepared in accordance with the University’s Articles of Association, the 2019 Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP): Accounting for Further and Higher Education, other relevant accounting standards and the terms and conditions of the OfS ‘Regulatory Notice 9: Accounts Direction. Under those terms and conditions, the Council must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs and of the surplus or deficit of the University for that year. In preparing these financial statements, the Council has ensured that:     

The Council has taken all reasonable steps, through its senior officers and Audit & Risk Committee, to:    

6.4  Disclosure of information to Auditor     

At the date of making this report, the Council confirms the following:    

6.5  Statement of Internal Control    

As the governing body of the University of Gloucestershire, the Council recognises that it has responsibility for maintaining a sound system of internal control that supports the achievement of policies, aims and objectives, whilst safeguarding the public and other funds and assets for which it is responsible, in accordance with the responsibilities assigned to Council in the Articles of Association and the expectations of the Office for Students as provided in the ‘Regulatory framework for higher education in England’.     

The system of internal control is designed to manage rather than eliminate the risk of failure to achieve policies, aims and objectives. It can therefore only provide reasonable and not absolute assurance of effectiveness.    

The system of internal control is based on an ongoing review process designed to identify the principal risks to the achievement of policies, aims and objectives, to evaluate the nature and extent of those risks, and to manage them efficiently, effectively and economically. This process has been in place for the year ended 31 July 2023 and up to the date of approval of the financial statements.    

The University keeps its Risk Management Policy and Procedures under review in order to better recognise and manage the risks it faces in the delivery of its strategic aims. The risk framework is aligned with the University’s Strategic Plan. It has been designed to cover all risks including governance, management, quality, reputational and financial, whilst focusing on the most important risks. The risk register provides an appraisal of the current and projected position for each risk, including a likelihood/impact matrix. A detailed reporting schedule is in place to ensure that the relevant information is reviewed and reported in a timely manner to appropriate audiences including the University Executive Committee, Audit and Risk Committee, and Council. Some aspect of the University’s approach to risk management is considered regularly by the internal auditors, with the next specific review of the risk management process scheduled for 2023/24.    

Risk management is fully incorporated into the corporate planning and decision-making processes of the institution, and, as already noted, informs the work undertaken by Internal Audit. The University Executive Committee has a standing agenda item to review all key risks, to report on progress of action plans that introduce new mitigations, risk trajectories, and projected risk.  While the identification of new and emerging risks may occur at any point during the year, an annual risk workshop is held at the start of the academic year to refresh the Risk Register. It has been embedded at school and department level by ensuring that the annual planning cycle includes a review of the risks facing each unit, together with clear mitigation plans, closely aligned with institutional level risks. Each School and Department has revised its own risk register to align with the institutional framework so that there is a clear link between the risks reported at an institutional level and at a school or departmental level. Detailed business continuity and disaster recovery plans, both at an institutional and a school or departmental level, are also in place.   

In addition to this, Council oversees the University’s performance in meeting its strategic objectives through the approval and monitoring of the Delivery Plan Progress Report. Regular updates on performance are presented to Council during the year, with a full year-end report considered in October. The Delivery Plan is rolled forward and updated annually for the following year, and submitted for approval by Council every June.     

The Council has responsibility for reviewing the effectiveness of the institution’s systems of internal control and, via the Audit and Risk Committee, conducts an annual review of these. Council considers the plans and strategic direction of the University and receives reports from the Chair of Audit and Risk Committee concerning internal control and has access to the minutes of Audit and Risk Committee meetings. The Audit and Risk Committee receives regular reports from the internal audit, which includes an independent opinion on the adequacy and effectiveness of the University’s system of internal control together with recommendations for improvement.  The internal auditors’ annual opinion on the internal control environment is taken into account by Audit and Risk Committee in preparing its own opinion on internal control. The review of the effectiveness of the system of internal control is also informed by the work of the Executive Group within the University, who have responsibility for the development and maintenance of the internal control framework, and by comments made by the external auditors in their management letter and other reports.     

In September 2018, the University successfully achieved registration with the Office for Students, without any specific conditions being applied to its registration. This registration has been maintained consistently since.    

Council is of the view that the University has an appropriate framework for delivering assurance to the governing body on key aspects of governance, risk management and internal control, and that there is clarity in terms of the respective roles of the Audit and Risk Committee, Finance and General Purposes Committee and Council and how internal audit interfaces with these bodies.    

The Council Members of the University consider, both individually and together, that they have acted in the way they consider, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the University (having regard to the stakeholders and matters set out in s172 (1) (a-f) of the Act) in the decisions taken during the year ended 31 July 2022.   

The success of the University is reliant on the support of all of our stakeholders. It is important to us that we build positive relationships with stakeholders that share our values, and working together towards shared goals assists us in delivering long-term sustainable success.   

Consequences of any decision in the long term  

The Council understands the importance of considering both the short-term and long-term goals as well as the risks that may be encountered to achieve these.    

To support these considerations, the University prepared a Finance Strategy for 2022-2025 and a Strategic Plan for 2022-2027.  Additional information on these, along with consideration of the specific risks the University is managing can be found within Section 3 of our Operating and Financial Review.  


Our people are key to our success and we want them to be successful individually and as a team. There are many ways we engage with and listen to our people including staff engagement surveys, regular updates from the Vice-Chancellor through termly all staff briefings and monthly newsletters. We have also set up a Women’s network and Black Asian and Minority Ethnic network in addition to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  It is important to us that our staff members feel fully supported and we provide them with access to an Employee Assistance Programme which offers confidential support for any issues they may encounter, whether it is work related or not. We also feel it is crucial that staff members are recognised for their hard work and achievements and the annual staff awards are a way to celebrate these with the whole of the University.   

Business relationships:  Students   

Students are the key to everything we do. Our new strategic plan for the period 2022-2027 focuses several of its goals on students and the service/support that they need.  In particular, three of the University’s strategic goals are to provide an outstanding quality of education, support for student wellbeing, and the promotion of career success.   


It is important for the University to obtain the best terms for all of its business activities and the Council recognises that relationships with suppliers are important to long-term success and as such we work to build strong relationships to develop mutually beneficial and lasting partnerships.    

Impact on communities and the environment     

As mentioned within our Operating and Financial Review, one of our key strategic priorities is to build partnerships which create opportunity, innovation and mutual benefit for the communities we serve. The University continues to engage with its very local communities through facilitating ‘Community Liaison Groups’ linked with each of its campus sites, as well as the Pittville Student Village.  

Our annual BSI ISO14001 external reassessment audit of our Environmental Management System took place in June 2023 and resulted in a successful outcome. The auditors recommended to the British Standards Institute that the University be re-certified for the period September 2023 to September 2026.  

Maintaining high standard of business conduct    

It is important for the University to comply with relevant laws and regulations, including the specific expectations of the Office for Students, the regulator for providers of higher education in England, as well as statutory matters including health and safety. The Council is updated regularly on legal and regulatory developments and takes these into account when considering future plans.    

The University conducts its business in accordance with the seven principles identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership) and ensures all members of the Executive and Council meet the definition of the Office for Students of a ‘fit and proper’ person. Further details on this and the other ways in which the University ensures it maintains a high standard of business conduct can be found within Section 6 ‘Corporate Governance’ of our Operating and Financial Review.    

The Operating and Financial Review and the S172 Statement of Council Members was approved by the Council of the University of Gloucestershire on 28 November 2023, and was signed on its behalf by:   

Nicola de Iongh
Chair of Council

Clare Marchant 

Student ambassadors stood chatting at an event on campus

Independent auditor’s report to the Council of University of Gloucestershire


We have audited the financial statements of University of Gloucestershire (the ‘parent University’) and its subsidiaries (the ‘group’) for the year ended 31 July 2023, which comprise Consolidated and university Statement of Comprehensive Income and Expenditure, Consolidated and University Statement of Changes in Reserves, Consolidated and University Balance Sheet, Consolidated and University Cash Flow and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards, including Financial Reporting Standard 102 ‘The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland’ (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice).

In our opinion, the financial statements:

Basis for opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK) (ISAs (UK)) and applicable law. Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the ‘Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements’ section of our report. We are independent of the group and the parent University in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the financial statements in the UK, including the FRC’s Ethical Standard, and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.

Conclusions relating to going concern

We are responsible for concluding on the appropriateness of the Council’s use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the group’s and the parent University’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our report to the related disclosures in the financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify the auditor’s opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our report. However, future events or conditions may cause the group or the parent University to cease to continue as a going concern.

In our evaluation of the Council’s conclusions, we considered the inherent risks associated with the group’s and the parent University’s business model including effects arising from macro-economic uncertainties such as the cost of living crisis and the impact of high inflation we assessed and challenged the reasonableness of estimates made by the Council and the related disclosures and analysed how those risks might affect the group’s and the parent University’s financial resources or ability to continue operations over the going concern period.  

In auditing the financial statements, we have concluded that the Council’s use of the going concern basis of accounting in the preparation of the financial statements is appropriate.

Based on the work we have performed, we have not identified any material uncertainties relating to events or conditions that, individually or collectively, may cast significant doubt on the group’s and the parent University’s ability to continue as a going concern for a period of at least twelve months from when the financial statements are authorised for issue.

Our responsibilities and the responsibilities of the Council with respect to going concern are described in the relevant sections of this report.

Other information

The other information comprises the information included in the annual report, other than the financial statements and our auditor’s report thereon. The Council is responsible for the other information contained within the annual report. Our opinion on the financial statements does not cover the other information and, except to the extent otherwise explicitly stated in our report, we do not express any form of assurance conclusion thereon.

Our responsibility is to read the other information and, in doing so, consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the financial statements or our knowledge obtained in the audit or otherwise appears to be materially misstated. If we identify such material inconsistencies or apparent material misstatements, we are required to determine whether there is a material misstatement in the financial statements themselves. If, based on the work we have performed, we conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, we are required to report that fact.

We have nothing to report in this regard.

Opinions on other matters prescribed by the Companies Act 2006

In our opinion, based on the work undertaken in the course of the audit:

Matter on which we are required to report under the Companies Act 2006

In the light of the knowledge and understanding of the group and the parent University and their environment obtained in the course of the audit, we have not identified material misstatements in the strategic report or the directors’ report included in the annual report.

Opinion on other matters prescribed by the Office for Students (‘OfS’) accounts direction (issued October 2019) (the ‘OfS Accounts direction’)

In our opinion, in all material respects:

Matters on which we are required to report by exception

We have nothing to report in respect of the following matters in relation to which the Companies Act 2006 requires us to report to you if, in our opinion:

We have nothing to report in respect of the following matters where the OfS Accounts direction requires us to report to you where:

Responsibilities of the Council

As explained more fully in the Statement of responsibilities of the Council, the Council (who are also the directors of the charitable company for the purposes of company law) are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view, and for such internal control as the Council determine is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In preparing the financial statements, the Council are responsible for assessing the group’s and the parent University’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless the Council either intends to liquidate the group or the parent.

Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs (UK) will always detect a material misstatement when it exists.

Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.

Irregularities, including fraud, are instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations. The extent to which our procedures are capable of detecting irregularities, including fraud, is detailed below:

A further description of our responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements is located on the Financial Reporting Council’s website at: This description forms part of our auditor’s report.

Use of our report

This report is made solely to the University’s Council, as a body, in accordance with Chapter 3 of Part 16 of the Companies Act 2006. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the University’s members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditor’s report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the University and the University’s members as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.

Adam Terry BSc FCA
Senior Statutory Auditor
for and on behalf of Grant Thornton UK LLP
Statutory Auditor, Chartered Accountants

28 November 2023

Two students walk along a corridor at Park campus.

Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 July 2023

Statement of Principal Accounting Policies

1. Basis of preparation

These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with applicable United Kingdom accounting standards, including Financial Reporting Standard 102 – ‘The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland’ (FRS 102) and in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice – Accounting for Further and Higher Education issued in 2019 (2019 SORP). These financial statements are prepared on the historical cost basis except for the modification to a fair value basis for certain financial instruments as specified in the accounting policies below.

The financial statements are presented in Sterling (£).

The group financial statements consolidate the financial statements of the University of Gloucestershire and all its subsidiary undertakings drawn up to 31 July each year.

2. Significant judgements and estimates

The preparation of the financial statements requires management to make judgements, estimates and assumptions that affect the application of accounting policies and reported amounts of assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Actual results may differ from these estimates.

Estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Estimates are based on historical experience and other assumptions that are considered reasonable in the circumstances. The actual amount or values may vary in certain instances from the assumptions and estimates made.  Changes will be recorded, with corresponding effect in profit or loss, when, and if, better information is obtained.

Information about assumptions and estimation uncertainties that have a significant risk of resulting in material adjustment within the next financial year are included below.

Critical judgements that management has made in the process of applying accounting policies disclosed herein and that have a significant effect on the amounts recognised in the financial statements relate to the following:

Finance Lease

The University has entered into an agreement with Cityheart (Gloucester) Limited who operate student residences in Gloucester.  The residences are being funded by Aviva Investors. Under the terms of the contractual arrangements, if Cityheart (Gloucester) Limited default on their lease with Aviva Investors, the University will inherit a liability. Having considered all the contractual arrangements and obligations, management consider that this arrangement falls within the definition of a finance lease as set out in FRS 102. In the judgement of management, as the University is only guaranteeing the overriding contract and not the individual rentals, there are no guaranteed amounts and therefore no value can be attributed to an asset or liability on the balance sheet. Management will continue to monitor progress on the contract and assess the need to recognise any ongoing liabilities, should they arise. A contingent liability for any future financial obligation will be recognised when the possibility of an outflow of future resources is no longer considered to be remote.

Operating Lease

The University has entered into an agreement with Gloucester County Council to lease space at the City Campus (formerly Debenhams) to accommodate the City Library for a period of 25 years. Having considered all the contractual arrangements and obligations, management consider that this arrangement falls within the definition of an operating lease as set out in FRS102.


In recognising provisions, the company evaluates the extent to which it is probable that it has incurred a legal or constructive obligation in respect of past events and the probability that there will be an outflow of benefits as a result. The judgements used to recognise provisions are based on currently known factors which may vary over time, resulting in changes in the measurement of recorded amounts as compared to initial estimates.

Impairment of assets

At each reporting date fixed assets are reviewed to determine whether there is any indication that those assets have suffered an impairment loss as a result of any indications. If there is an indication of impairment, the recoverability amount of any affected asset is estimated and compared with its carrying amount. If the estimated recoverable amount is lower, the carrying amount is reduced to its estimated recoverable amount and an impairment loss is recognised immediately in the period it arises. The recoverable amount is the higher of the assets fair value less costs to sell and its value in use. If an impairment loss subsequently reverses, the carrying amount of the asset is increased to the revised estimate of its recoverable amount, but not in excess of the amount that would have been determined had no impairment loss been recognised for the asset in the prior years. A reversal of an impairment loss is recognised immediately in the period it arises.

Recoverability of debtors

The provision for bad debts is based on our estimate of the expected recoverability of those debts. Assumptions are made based on the level of debtors which have defaulted historically, coupled with current economic knowledge. The provision is based on the current situation of the customer, the age profile of the det and the nature of the amount due.

3. Going concern

Financial Sustainability is an overarching aim of the University. The Finance Strategy 2022-26 maintains this priority, with growth in turnover being at the heart of our ability to ensure sufficient surpluses and cash resources are generated to enable the University to invest in its people and infrastructure and provide an excellent student experience.

The University has adopted a rigorous self-assessment framework to assist the Council in determining whether it is appropriate to adopt the going concern basis for preparing financial statements, and, in making balanced, proportionate and clear disclosures. The assessment includes a review of forecasts and budgets, borrowing requirements, compliance with loan agreements, timing of cash flows, contingent liabilities, supply chain risks, insurance, risk management and financial adaptability, including sensitivity analysis and stress testing. A Continued Viability Statement has also been developed by management and considered by Council.  While the University remains focussed on our mission and goals to provide an excellent experience of teaching and learning for our students, and to enable our students to achieve their full potential, we fully recognise that our ability to achieve those goals is dependent on remaining financially sustainable.

The Council approved a budget for the year to 31 July 2024 at its June 2023 meeting, taking into account the latest information on the applications cycle for Autumn 2023. A review of recruitment performance in September against the budget targets reflected mixed fortunes, with overseas, especially postgraduate taught, looking extremely buoyant, whilst home postgraduate recruitment was low, in common with the rest of the sector. Home undergraduate was below budget, but in line with last year and, with in-year recruitment looking higher than anticipated, we expect to see an uplift on last year. Returner numbers are expected to exceed budget. Cash generation and cash balances remain strong and well in excess of our new Finance Strategy targets for both minimum and year end liquidity levels, although cash balances will come under pressure in the year ahead.

The activities which present greatest financial risk to the university are student recruitment and retention as tuition fees represent 75% of our income. Cost inflation is another less material risk, and not likely to create any threat to financial sustainability in itself. Cost inflation, especially pay inflation, if combined with income shortfalls could create some short term financial stress and has been modelled as part of our worst case scenario stress testing.  

Financial modelling of best, worst and probable scenarios has indicated that the University could withstand some adverse movement in the key areas of uncertainty, giving comfort over cash solvency for the year and into 2024/25. This stress testing has identified that the culmination of all worst case scenarios would increase the pressure on minimum cash balances, though at all times we project to exceed the 45 day minimum threshold for at least the 12 months after signing the accounts. Mitigating actions have been identified and could be called upon should this combination of adverse situations arise. 

The City Campus development project commenced during 2021/22, with the main spend for phase 1 being incurred between August 2022 to July 2024. Financing arrangements were put in place prior to the major construction contractual commitments being entered into, and the affordability of cost increases is regularly reviewed. Project delays means that costs are delayed and will spread into 2024/25, easing the earlier construction cash flows, but creating new pressures later on. The new loan with Barclays has been entered into with consent from Nat West, our existing lender, and the 1st tranche of new loan drawn down occurred during 2022/23 and the final tranche being drawn during October 2023. External grants and contract receipts will cover 35% of the costs of Phase 1 of the development. Over the course of the next 18 months, the University has plans to dispose of assets and generate disposal proceeds, which will replenish cash balances.

The University benefits from good relations with our lenders, who have expressed sound understanding of the sector and our performance within the sector. Obviously, these adverse scenarios would create significant challenge for the University in maintaining the full range and quality of our educational activities and ancillary services, but the modelling  confirms  that the University could sustain operational and financial viability even in these circumstances of exceptional stress. The cost increases on the City Campus re-development are causing a potential projected breach of a financial covenant early in 2025, due to the calculation method incorporating a cap on ‘excluded capital expenditure’. We are in discussions with the lender and expect the cap within the ratio calculation to be amended, thus avoiding a breach of financial covenant before it occurs.

Based on information and knowledge available to the Council in carrying out this review, the Council acknowledges that risk and uncertainty exist. It has a reasonable expectation that the University has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. For this reason, the Council continues to adopt the going concern basis for preparing the accounts.

4. Basis of consolidation

The results of the University’s subsidiary undertakings, and undertakings in which it has a controlling interest, have been consolidated in the financial statements and details of these are provided in note 16 to the accounts.

The consolidated financial statements do not include the results of the University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union as it is a separate company limited by guarantee in which the University has no financial interest, control or significant influence over policy decisions.

5. Grants

Government revenue grants including funding allocations from Office for Students and research grants are recognised in income over the periods in which the University recognises the related costs for which the grant is intended to compensate. Where part of a Government grant is deferred it is recognised as deferred income within creditors and allocated between creditors due within one year and due after more than one year as appropriate.

Grants (including research grants) from non-government sources are recognised in income when the University is entitled to the income and performance related conditions have been met. Income received in advance of performance related conditions being met is recognised as deferred income within creditors on the balance sheet and released to income as conditions are met.

Government capital equipment grants are capitalised and released to the income and expenditure account over the expected useful lives of the assets in line with the depreciation policy.

Government capital building grants are capitalised and released as follows:

Deferred income, in respect of capital grants from the Office for Students, which are attributable to subsequent financial years, is included in creditors as a deferred credit.

Other capital grants are recognised in income when the University is entitled to the funds subject to any performance related conditions being met.

6. Recognition of income

Income from the sale of goods or services is credited to the Consolidated and University statement of comprehensive income and expenditure when the goods or services are supplied to the external customers or the terms of the contract have been satisfied.

Fee income is stated gross of any expenditure which is not a discount or fee waiver and credited to the Consolidated and University statement of comprehensive income and expenditure over the period in which students are studying. Where the amount of the tuition fee is reduced, by a discount for prompt payment, income receivable is shown net of the discount. 

Bursaries and Scholarships are accounted for gross as expenditure and not deducted from income.

Investment income is credited to the Consolidated and University statement of income and expenditure on a receivable basis.

Funds the University receives and disburses as paying agent on behalf of a funding body are excluded from the income and expenditure of the University where the University is exposed to minimal risk or enjoys minimal economic benefit related to the transaction.

7. Donations and endowments

Non exchange transactions where we receive value from a donor without providing equal value in return are donations or endowments.

Donations and endowments with donor imposed restrictions are recognised in income when the University is entitled to the funds.  Income is retained within the restricted reserve until such time that it is utilised in line with such restrictions at which point the income is released to general reserves through a reserve transfer.

Donations with no restrictions are recognised in income when the University is entitled to the funds.

Endowment income and appreciation of endowments is recorded in income in the year in which it arises and as either restricted or unrestricted income according to the terms of the restriction applied to the individual endowment fund. There are four main types of donations and endowments identified within reserves:

  1. Restricted donations – the donor has specified that the donation must be used for a particular objective.
  2. Unrestricted permanent endowments – the donor has specified that the fund is to be permanently invested to generate an income stream for the general benefit of the University.
  3. Restricted expendable endowments – the donor has specified a particular objective other than the purchase or construction of tangible fixed assets, and the University has the power to use the capital.
  4. Restricted permanent endowments – the donor has specified that the fund is to be permanently invested to generate an income stream to be applied to a particular objective.

8. Tangible fixed assets

Fixed Assets are stated at cost or deemed cost less accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses.

Freehold Land and Buildings

Certain freehold land and buildings that had been revalued to fair value on or prior to the date of transition to the 2015 HE SORP, are measured on the basis of deemed cost, being the revalued amount at the date of that revaluation.

Leasehold Land and Buildings

Leasehold land and buildings are included at cost.

Additions to freehold and leasehold land and buildings are capitalised at cost.

Plant and Equipment

Expenditure on all plant and equipment is capitalised where the individual cost of items exceeds £5,000, or if an item is a component of a larger asset or programme.

9. Depreciation

Depreciation is calculated so as to write off the cost or valuation of tangible fixed assets less their estimated residual values on a straight-line basis over the expected useful economic lives of the assets concerned.

In calculating depreciation, buildings acquired before 1 August 2006 are considered to have a residual value of 50% of cost to reflect an ongoing maintenance and repair programme. New buildings commissioned post 1 August 2006 are considered to have a nil residual value with the full cost written off in accordance with the component life cycle methodology for depreciation. The lives used for this purpose are:

  Pre July 2006 acquisitionsPost July 2006 acquisitions
Freehold and Leasehold Land and Buildings:   
Freehold land NILNIL
Buildings Listed100 years100 years
BuildingsOther and unlisted50 yearsComponent life 10-50 years
BuildingsMajor adaptations10-25 yearsComponent life 5-40 years
PlantUp to 1994-199510 years 
PlantFrom 1994-199520 yearsComponent life 10-30 years
Apparatus and equipment 5 years5 years
Computer equipment 3 yearsComponent life 3-10 years
Motor vehicles 5 years5 years
Furniture, fixtures and fitting 10 yearsComponent life 10-15 years

A review for potential indicators of impairment is carried out at each reporting date. If events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the property, plant and equipment may not be recoverable, a calculation of the impact is completed and arising impairment values charged against the asset and to the SOCIE.

10. Impairments of assets and assets held for disposal

Impairments of assets are calculated as the difference between the carrying value of the asset and its recoverable amount, if lower.

Recoverable amount is defined as the higher of fair value less costs to sell and the estimated value in use at the date the impairment review is undertaken.

Assets classified as held for sale are measured at the lower of carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell, as defined above. Assets are classified as held for sale if their carrying amount will be recovered or settled principally through a sale transaction rather than through continuing use. This condition is regarded as being met only when the sale is highly probable and the assets are available for immediate sale in their present condition. Management must be committed to the sale, which should be expected to qualify for recognition as a completed sale within one year.

No depreciation is charged on assets classified as held for sale.

11. Stocks

Stocks are stated at the lower of cost and estimated selling price less costs to complete and sell.

12. Cash and cash equivalents

Cash includes cash in hand, deposits repayable on demand and overdrafts. Deposits are repayable on demand if they are in practice available within 24 hours without penalty.

Cash equivalents are short term (maturity being less than three months from the placement date), highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash with insignificant risk of change in value.

13. Taxation

Effective from 1 August 2007, the University became a Company Limited by Guarantee and an exempt charity within the meaning of Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. It is therefore a charity within the meaning of Paragraph 1 of Schedule 6 to the Finance Act 2010 and accordingly, the University is therefore potentially exempt from taxation in respect of income and capital gains received within categories covered by section 478-488 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010 or section 256 of the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992, to the extent that such income or gains are applied to exclusively charitable purposes.

Value Added Tax on purchases exceeds Value Added Tax on sales. However, because of the VAT status of education, the University’s principal supply, the difference is generally not reclaimable and is, therefore, a cost of the University.

Fullwood Park Limited and University of Gloucestershire Professional Services Limited are liable for UK corporation tax. The companies have agreed to pay the lower of their accounting and tax profits to the University of Gloucestershire, which is an exempt charity, under corporate gift aid regulations introduced in April 2000.

Fullwood Park Limited is registered for VAT.

Both the University and University of Gloucestershire Professional Services Limited are part of the same VAT group.

14. Financial instruments

Financial assets and liabilities are recognised when the Institution becomes party to the contractual provision of the instrument and they are classified according to the substance of the contractual arrangements entered into.

A financial asset and a financial liability are offset only when there is a legally enforceable right to set off the recognised amounts and an intention either to settle on a net basis, or to realise the asset and settle the liability simultaneously.

Financial assets

Basic financial assets include trade and other debtors, cash and cash equivalents, intercompany debtors and investments in commercial paper (i.e. deposits and bonds). These assets are initially recognised at transaction price unless the arrangement constitutes a financing transaction, where the transaction is measured at the present value of the future receipts discounted at a market rate of interest. Such assets are subsequently carried at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method. Financial assets are assessed for indicators of impairment at each reporting date. If there is objective evidence of impairment, an impairment loss is recognised in the statement of comprehensive income.

For financial assets carried at amortised cost the impairment loss is the difference between the carrying amount of the asset and the present value of the estimated future cash flows, discounted at the asset’s original effective interest rate.

Other financial assets, including investments in equity instruments which are not subsidiaries, associates, or joint ventures are initially measured at fair value, which is typically the transaction price. These assets are subsequently carried at fair value and changes in fair value at the reporting date are recognised in the statement of comprehensive income. Where the investment in equity instruments are not publicly traded and where the fair value cannot be reliably measured the assets are measured at cost less impairment.

Financial assets are de‑recognised when the contractual rights to the cash flows from the asset expire or are settled or substantially all of the risks and rewards of the ownership of the asset are transferred to another party.

Financial liabilities

Basic financial liabilities include trade and other creditors and bank loans. These liabilities are initially recognised at transaction price unless the arrangement constitutes a financing transaction, where the debt instrument is measured at the present value of the future payments discounted at a market rate of interest. Debt instruments are subsequently carried at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method.

Fees paid on the establishment of loan facilities are recognised as transaction costs of the loan to the extent that it is probable that some or all of the facility will be drawn down.

Trade creditors are obligations to pay for goods and services that have been acquired in the ordinary course of business from suppliers. Trade creditors are classified as current liabilities if payment is due within one year or less. If not, they are presented as non‑current liabilities. Trade creditors are recognised initially at transaction price and subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method.

Financial liabilities are de‑recognised when the liability is discharged, cancelled, or expires.

15. Investments

Fixed and endowment asset investments are included in the balance sheet at market value. Where no market value for an investment asset can be readily ascertained, the investment is stated at cost except where a permanent diminution of value has taken place.

Investments in jointly controlled entities, associates and subsidiaries are carried at cost less impairment in the University’s accounts.

Current asset investments are held at fair value with movements recognised in the surplus or deficit.

16. Finance and operating leases

Costs or income received in respect of operating leases are charged on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Any lease premiums or incentives are spread over the minimum lease term.

Leasing agreements, which transfer to the University substantially all the benefits and risks of ownership of an asset, are treated as if the asset had been purchased outright, and classified as finance leases.

Leased assets acquired by way of finance lease and the corresponding lease liabilities are initially recognised at an amount equal to the lower of their fair value and the present value of the minimum lease payments at the inception of the lease.

Minimum lease payments are apportioned between the finance charge and the reduction of the outstanding liability. The finance charge is allocated to each period during the lease term so as to produce a constant periodic rate of interest on the outstanding balance of the lease.

17. Interest payable and financial instruments

The University uses derivative financial instruments such as interest rate swaps to reduce exposure to interest rate movements on its loans.  Such derivative financial instruments are not held for speculative purposes and relate to actual liabilities, changing the nature of the interest rate by converting a variable rate to a fixed rate.  Interest differentials under these swaps are recognised by adjusting net interest payable over the periods of the contracts.

Any derivative financial instruments are held on the balance sheet at fair value with movements in fair value recorded in the Surplus or Deficit.

18. Pension scheme arrangements

Retirement benefits to employees of the University are provided by Defined Benefit Schemes, which are funded by contributions from the University and employees. Payments are made to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) for academic staff, The Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (CEFPS) for Clerical staff and to the Gloucestershire Local Government Pension Scheme for non-academic staff. These are independently administered schemes.

Contributions to the Schemes are recognised as an expense in the year to spread the cost of the pensions over the employees’ working lives with the University.

Changes to the funding of the Schemes arising from changes in legislation or from fund performance, or from changes in membership or other composition of the Schemes, are recognised at each Scheme actuarial valuation. Adjustments to Scheme funding, if any, and employers’ contributions to the Schemes which follow actuarial valuations, will address any shortfall or surplus arising from that valuation.

The University has adopted in full the requirements of FRS 102 for the Local Government Pension Scheme.

The USS and CEFPS are multi-employer schemes for which it is not possible to identify the assets and liabilities to the University for members due to the mutual nature of the schemes and therefore these are accounted for as defined contribution retirement benefit schemes. A liability is recorded within provisions for any contractual commitment to fund past deficits in accordance with the latest agreed deficit funding plan.

The TPS is a multi-employer unfunded scheme for which it is not possible to identify the assets and liabilities to the University for members due to the mutual nature of the scheme and therefore this is also accounted for as a defined contribution retirement benefit scheme. Employers have recently been advised of increases from Sept 2019 onwards.

Retirement benefits to employees of the University subsidiary company UOGPSL are provided by a Defined Contribution Scheme, Legal & General (L&G) which are funded by contributions from the University and employees. The L&G scheme is a defined contribution plan, a post-employment benefit plan under which UoGPSL pays fixed contributions into a separate entity and has no legal or constructive obligation to pay further amounts. Obligations for contributions to defined contribution pension plans are recognised as an expense in the profit and loss account in the year during which services are rendered by employees.

19. Employment benefits

Short term employment benefits such as salaries and compensated absences are recognised as an expense in the year in which the employees render service to the University. Any unused benefits are accrued and measured as the additional amount the University expects to pay as a result of the unused entitlement.

20. Repairs and maintenance costs

Expenditure on routine corrective maintenance is charged to the income and expenditure account as it is incurred.

21. Foreign currencies

Transactions denominated in foreign currencies are recorded at the rate of exchange ruling at the dates of the transactions. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are exchanged into sterling at year-end rates. The resulting exchange differences are dealt with in the determinations of income and expenditure for the financial year.

22. Provisions

Provisions are recognised when the University has a present legal or constructive obligation as a result of a past event and it is probable that a transfer of economic benefit will be required to settle the obligation and that a reliable estimate can be made of the amount of the obligation.

A contingent liability arises from a past event that gives the University a possible obligation whose existence will only be confirmed by the occurrence or otherwise of uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the University. Contingent liabilities also arise in circumstances where a provision would otherwise be made but either it is not probable that an outflow of resources will be required or the amount of the obligation cannot be measured reliably.

A contingent asset arises where an event has taken place that gives the institution a possible asset whose existence will only be confirmed by the occurrence or otherwise of uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the University.

Contingent assets and liabilities are not recognised in the Statement of Financial Position but are disclosed in the notes.

23. Capitalisation of finance costs and interest

Interest and finance charges for capitalised projects are written off to the income and expenditure account during the period of construction and thereafter.

24. Bad and doubtful debts

The University regularly considers its debt book for recoverability of debtors by means of review of internal data and from information provided by its collecting agent. Arising from this review, the University makes provision for bad and doubtful debts based on both specific cases and a formula basis related to the age of outstanding debt including the related assets on the balance sheet and estimated recoverable amount.

25. Service concession arrangements

Fixed assets held under service concession arrangements are recognised on the balance sheet at the present value of the minimum lease payments when the assets are brought into use with a corresponding financial liability.

Payments under the service concession arrangement are allocated between service costs, finance charges and financial liability repayments to reduce the financial liability to nil over the life of the arrangement.

26. Reserves

Reserves are classified as restricted or unrestricted. Restricted endowment reserves include balances which, through endowment to the University, are held as a permanently restricted fund which the University must hold in perpetuity. Other restricted reserves include balances where the donor has designated a specific purpose and therefore the University is restricted in the use of these funds.

Consolidated and University Statement of Comprehensive Income and Expenditure

Year ended 31 July 2023

 Notes Consolidated 2023
 Consolidated 2022
 University 2023
Funding body grants1 6,893 6,236 6,893 6,236
Tuition fees and education contracts2 66,214 61,623 66,214 61,623
Research grants and contracts3 2,411 2,590 2,411 2,590
Other income4 11,657 10,155 11,549 10,083
Investment income5 1,047 376 1,031 311
Donations and endowments6 12 12 23 16
Total income  88,234 80,992 88,121 80,859
Staff costs8 55,338 58,149 52,747 57,603
Restructuring costs8 709 215 709 215
Depreciation of tangible fixed assets14 6,981 7,129 6,981 7,129
Other operating expenses9 24,521 21,158 27,074 21,631
Interest and other finance costs10 1,505 1,761 1,505 1,761
Total expenditure11 89,054 88,412 89,016 88,339
Deficit before other gains/(losses)  (820) (7,420) (895) (7,480)
Gain/(losses) on investments  (3) (240) 16 (163)
Loss on disposal of fixed assets  (1,145)  (1,145) 
Deficit before tax  (1,968) (7,660) (2,024) (7,643)
Deficit for the year  (1,968) (7,660) (2,024) (7,643)
Other comprehensive (losses)/income         
Actuarial gain in respect of pension schemes35 9,750 69,016 9,750 69,016
Currency exchange differences  44 (16) 44 (16)
Total comprehensive gain for the year  7,826 61,340 7,770 61,357
Represented by:         
Endowment comprehensive loss for the year  (60) (228) (36) (200)
Restricted comprehensive gain for the year  3 4 3 4
Unrestricted comprehensive gain for the year  7,883 61,564 7,803 61,553
   7,826 61,340 7,770 61,357
Deficit for the year attributable to the University  (1,968) (7,660) (2,024) (7,643)
All items of income and expenditure related to continuing activities 

Consolidated and University Statement of Changes in Reserves

Year ended 31 July 2023

 Income and expenditure account Revaluation Total
 Endowment Restricted Unrestricted Reserve  
 £000 £000 £000 £000 £000
Balance at 1 August 20213,364   21   23,014  26,399
Surplus/(deficit) from the statement of comprehensive income(228) 4 (7,436)  (7,660)
Other comprehensive gain  69,000  69,000
Total comprehensive income(loss) for the year(228) 4 61,564  61,340
Balance at 1 August 20223,136 25 84,578  87,739
Surplus/(deficit) from the statement of comprehensive income(60) 3 (1,911)  (1,968)
Other comprehensive gain  9,794  9,794
Total comprehensive income(loss) for the year(60) 3 7,883  7,826
Balance at 31 July 20233,076 28 92,461  95,565

Consolidated and University Statement of Changes in Reserves

Year ended 31 July 2023

 Income and expenditure account Revaluation Total
 Endowment Restricted Unrestricted reserve  
 £000 £000 £000 £000 £000
Balance at 1 August 20212,692   21   23,115  25,828
Surplus/(deficit) from the statement of comprehensive income(200) 4 (7,447)  (7,643)
Other comprehensive gain  69,000  69,000
Total comprehensive income/(loss) for the year(200) 4 61,553  61,357
Balance at 1 August 20222,492 25 84,668  87,185
Surplus/(deficit) from the statement of comprehensive income(36) 3 (1,991)  (2,024)
Other comprehensive gain  9,794  9,794
Total comprehensive income/(loss) for the year(36) 3 7,803  7,770
Balance at 31 July 20232,456 28 92,471  94,955

Consolidated and University Balance Sheet

Year ended 31 July 2023

   Consolidated Consolidated University University
   2023 2022 2023 2022
 Notes £000 £000 £000 £000
Non-current assets         
Fixed assets14 136,008 121,815 136,008 121,815
Investments16 2,689 2,759 2,133 2,215
   138,697 124,574 138,141 124,030
Current assets         
Stocks  60 98 60 98
Debtors17 27,939 19,950 28,061 20,217
Investments18 28,538 27,963 28,538 27,963
Cash and cash equivalents30 2,599 2,293 2,317 1,966
   59,136 50,304 58,976 50,244
Creditors: amounts falling due within one year19 (46,654) (33,256) (46,548) (33,207)
Net current assets  12,482 17,048 12,428 17,037
Total assets less current liabilities  151,179 141,622 150,569 141,067
Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year20 (53,894) (43,468) (53,894) (43,468)
Pension provisions  (1,441) (10,166) (1,441) (10,166)
Other provisions  (279) (249) (279) (249)
Total net assets  95,565 87,739 94,955 87,184
Restricted reserves         
Income and expenditure reserve – endowment fund23 3,076 3,136 2,456 2,492
Income and expenditure reserve – restricted reserve24 28 25 28 25
Unrestricted reserves         
Income and expenditure reserve – Unrestricted  92,461 84,578 92,471 84,667
Total reserves  95,565 87,739 94,955 87,184

The Financial Statements were approved by the Council of the University of Gloucestershire on 28 November 2023, and were signed on its behalf by:

Nicola De Iongh
Chair of Council

Clare Marchant

Company Number: 06023243

Consolidated and University Cash Flow Statement

Year ended 31 July 2023

 Consolidated 2023Consolidated 2022University 
University  2022
Cash flow from operating activities     
Deficit for the year before tax (1,968)(7,660)(2,024)(7,643)
Adjustment for non-cash items     
(Gain)/loss on investments 3240(16)163
(Increase)/decrease in stock 38(11)38(11)
(Increase) in debtors18(7,508)(2,553)(7,364)(2,743)
Increase in creditors2011,4006,58711,3436,584
Increase in pension provisions221,0277,7011,0277,701
(Decrease)/increase in other provisions2230(434)30(434)
Balance sheet reclassification (7)(7)
Adjustment for investing or financing     
Investment income (1,171)(632)(1,155)(567)
Interest payable101,1635881,163588
Endowment income (12)(12)(23)(16)
Loss on sale of fixed assets 1,1451,145
Fixed asset impairment 232232
Capital grant release to income21(3,005)(1,716)(3,005)(1,716)
Exchange (loss)/gain 44(16)44(16)
Net cash inflow from operating activities 8,3999,2048,4169,012
Cash flows from investing activities     
Capital grant receipts217,9186,7707,9186,770
Investments 620628530512
Investment income 1,0202601,005246
Payments made to acquire fixed assets14(22,551)(10,441)(22,551)(10,441)
Payments made to acquire intangible fixed assets (34)(116)(26)(66)
Proceeds from sales of intangible assets 271162665
New non-current assets16(520)(544)(405)(445)
Movement in deposits (575)(1,908)(575)(1,908)
Net cash outflow from investing activities (14,095)(5,235)(14,078)(5,267)
Cash flows from financing activities     
Interest paid (1,163)(588)(1,163)(588)
Endowment cash received 12122316
New secured loans 9,00015,0009,00015,000
Repayments of amounts borrowed (1,847)(17,570)(1,847)(17,570)
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from financing activities 6,002(3,146)6,013(3,142)
Increase in cash and cash equivalents30306823351603
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of the year302,2931,4701,9661,363
Cash and cash equivalents at end of the year30  2,5992,293  2,317 1,966

Notes to the Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 July 2023

1 Funding body grants Consolidated Consolidated University University
2023 2022 2023 2022
 Notes £000 £000 £000 £000
Recurrent grant       
Office for Students 5,843 5,030 5,843 5,030
Teaching Regulation Agency  119  119
Specific grants       
Office for Students redundancy compensation 38 30 38 30
Deferred capital grants       
Buildings22630 601 630 601
Equipment22382 456 382 456
  6,893 6,236 6,893 6,236
2 Tuition fees and education contracts       
Full time Home and EU students 48,233 51,632 48,233 51,632
Full time International students 11,938 5,447 11,938 5,447
Part time students 1,458 1,715 1,458 1,715
Other (short course) fees 4,585 2,829 4,585 2,829
  66,214 61,623 66,214 61,623
3 Research grants and contracts       
Research Councils 502 312 502 312
UK based charities 116 38 116 38
European Commission grants 246 953 246 953
Other grants and contracts 1,547 1,287 1,547 1,287
  2,411 2,590 2,411 2,590
4 Other income       
Residencies, catering and conferences 4,413 4,311  4,413  4,311 
Release from deferred capital grants 1,993 659 1,993 659
Other services rendered 883 929 914 929
Other income 4,244 4,000 4,105 3,928
Movement in fair value of derivatives 124 256 124 256
  11,657 10,155 11,549 10,083
5 Investment income       
Investment income on endowments 92 171 76 106
Other investment income 955 205 955 205
  1,047 376 1,031 311
6 Donations and endowments       
New endowments247 7 7 7
Donations with restrictions255 5 5 5
Unrestricted donations   11 4
  12 12 23 16
7 Grant and fee income       
Grant income from the OfS 4,562 4,383 4,562 4,383
Grant income from other bodies 6,737 5,101 6,737 5,101
Fee income for taught awards 63,984 59,987 63,984 59,987
Fee income for research awards 2,120 1,634 2,120 1,634
Fee income from non-qualifying courses 109 4 109 4
  77,512 71,109 77,512 71,109
8 Staff
Staff costs
Wages and salaries41,31938,98139,11038,505
Social security costs4,2844,0394,1094,006
Pension costs9,73515,1299,52815,092
Staff costs55,33858,14952,74757,603
A further breakdown of pension costs has been included in note 36 Pension Schemes.
Fundamental restructuring costs709215709215
Staff numbers by department
Academic departments457489457488
Central administrative503457438447
Other including manual8989
Total staff numbers968955903944
The staff numbers above relate to full time equivalents (including senior postholders).
Total remuneration of the Vice-Chancellor
Payment in lieu of pensions21202120
Compensation for loss of office inch PILON116116
The tenure of the Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, ended on 31 July 2023. The Vice-Chancellor received £65,250 as Payment in Lieu of Notice and £50,750 as compensation for loss of employment.
  2023 2022 2023 2022
Median pay ratio – All staff basic pay 4.39 4.39 4.39 4.39
Median pay ratio – All staff total pay 4.36 4.03 4.72 3.98

Please refer to the Senior Staff Remuneration section for further details on the University’s approach to setting pay of the vice chancellor and senior staff.

Emoluments of members of Executive (including the Vice-Chancellor)

The remuneration paid to members of the University Executive Group who served during the year including salary, non-consolidated performance pay, pension contributions, pay in lieu of notice and compensation for loss of office:

 2023 2022 2023 2022
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Salary635 605 635 605
Pension contributions105 99 105 99
Payment in lieu of pensions 21  20  21  20
Compensation for loss of office incl PILON116116
 877 724 877 724
 Numbers Numbers Numbers Numbers
Members of Executive whose emoluments are included above5  
4.79 FTE
4.67 FTE
4.79 FTE
4.67 FTE

The above numbers include all members who were employed during the year. There were 5 members of the Executive team at the year end.

The number of staff with a basic salary of over £100,000 per annum who were paid for the whole year has been included below:

     2023 2022
£100,000 – £104,999    1 2
£105,000 – £109,999    1 
£115,000 – £119,999     1
£120,000 – £124,999    1                      –
£145,000 – £149,999    1 1
£165,000 – £169,999      1
£170,000 – £174,9991
     5 5
 2023 2022 2023 2022
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Compensation for loss of office payments709 215 709 215
Number of staff whose compensation is included above23 16 23 16

All severance payments including compensation for loss of office in respect of higher paid staff are approved by RHRC Committee. Amounts for compensation for loss of office and redundancy for all other staff are approved by Executive in accordance with delegated authority.

Key management personnel

Key management personnel are those persons having authority and responsibility for planning, directing and controlling the activities of the University. Staff costs includes compensation paid to key management personnel defined as those members of the senior management team who form the University Executive Committee.

The university’s key management personnel consist of the following people:

Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Governance and Student Affairs), Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Enhancement and Research) and Chief Finance Officer.

The Chair and non-executive members of Council receive no emoluments except for the staff appointed as council members.

The above summaries should be read in conjunction with the Council statement on corporate governance.

9 Other operating expensesConsolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University 2023 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Consumable and non-capital items3,138 2,901 3,143 2,890
Academic administration1,041 988 1,042 988
Books and periodicals689 648 689 648
Rents and premises1,637 1,733 1,631 1,722
Heat, light, water and power1,729 1,387 1,729 1,387
Repairs and general maintenance1,682 1,704 1,682 1,704
Staff development and training237 168 237 168
Staff travel and subsistence1,041 838 3,626 1,388
Student travel and subsistence1,216 1,321 1,216 1,321
Student bursaries1,737 1,659 1,736 1,653
Marketing and agent commission3,541 2,107 3,541 2,107
Postage, telephone, printing and reprographics484 390 484 390
Insurance and finance787 744 786 744
Professional fees and contractors2,422 1,933 2,410 1,888
Course franchising and partnerships1,277 1,174 1,277 1,174
Purchases for resale905 808 900 807
Equipment operating lease rentals160 198 154 198
Students’ Union grant555 508 555 508
Fixed asset impairment232  232 
Other expenses11 (51) 4 (54)
 24,521 21,158 27,074 21,631
Included within professional fees:       
External auditor’s remuneration – External audit71 53 71 53
External auditor’s remuneration – audit of subsidiaries10 6  
External auditor’s remuneration – non-audit       
Audit related assurance services3 3 3 3
Other assurance services 8  8
Pension scheme audit2 1 2 1
Rental operating lease payments  457   538   457   538
10 Interest and other finance costsConsolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University 2023 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Loan interest1,163 588 1,163 588
Net charge on pension schemes342 1,173 342 1,173
 1,505 1,761 1,505 1,761
11 Analysis of total expenditure by activityConsolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University 2023 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Academic departments40,883 39,350 40,267 39,167
Academic services11,628 10,704 11,174 10,704
Research grants and contracts2,644 2,281 2,598 2,281
Residences, catering and conferences3,953 3,425 3,922 3,423
Premises7,642 7,057 7,343 7,057
Administration19,901 17,702 21,323 17,814
Other expenses2,403 7,893 2,389 7,893
 89,054 88,412 89,016 88,339
12 Access and Participation costs     2023 2022
     £000 £000
Access investment    1,637 1,526
Financial support    950 1,113
Disability support (excluding expenditure included in the two categories above)    536 486
Research and Evaluation    79 77
     3,202 3,202

(i) £2,095k (2022: £1,917k) of these costs are already included in the overall staff costs figures included in the financial statements (see note 8).
(ii) The published Access and Participation plan can be found on the Governance and Structure webpage.

13 TaxationConsolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University 2023 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Recognised in the statement of comprehensive income       
Corporation tax expense   

Factors affecting the tax charge
The tax assessed for the year is the standard rate of corporation tax in the UK. The difference is explained below:

 Consolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University 2023 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Factors affecting the tax charge       
UK corporation tax at 19% (2022: 19%)(374) (1,439) (385) (1,436)
Effect of:       
Surplus/deficit falling within charitable exemption374 1,439 385 1,436
Total tax expense   
14 Tangible fixed assets Freehold land and buildings Leasehold land and buildings Equipment Assets under construction Total
  £000 £000 £000 £000 £000
a) Consolidated          
At beginning of year 152,178 4,960 35,517 8,567 201,222
Additions at cost 990 11 1,829 19,721 22,551
Transfers at cost 133  55 (188) 
Disposals (296) (1,724) (2,667)  (4,687)
At year end 153,005 3,247 34,734 28,100 219,086
At beginning of year 51,295 2,849 25,263  79,407
Charge for the year 3,951 191 2,839  6,981
Disposals (114) (662) (2,534)  (3,310)
At year end 55,132 2,378 25,568  83,078
Net book value          
At year end 97,873 869 9,166 28,100 136,008
At beginning of year 100,883 2,111 10,254 8,567 121,815
b) University          
At beginning of year 152,178 4,960 35,517 8,567 201,222
Additions at cost 990 11 1,829 19,721 22,551
Transfers at cost 133  55 (188) 
Disposals (296) (1,724) (2,667)  (4,687)
At year end 153,005 3,247 34,734 28,100 219,086
At beginning of year 51,295 2,849 25,263  79,407
Charge for the year 3,951 191 2,839  6,981
Disposals (114) (662) (2,534)  (3,310)
At year end 55,132 2,378 25,568  83,078
Net book value          
At year end 97,873 869 9,166 28,100 136,008
At beginning of year 100,883 2,111 10,254 8,567 121,815

c) Revaluation of land and buildings

Land and buildings were revalued at 31 July 1997 by Bayley Donaldsons, Independent Chartered Surveyors. Certain properties, included in freehold land and building costs and earmarked for disposal under the building programme, were valued on an estimated open market value basis. The remaining land and buildings to be retained for use and occupation by the University have principally been valued at depreciated replacement cost in existing use. The likely replacement cost of buildings, which are listed as being of special architectural and historic interest has been calculated on the basis of reinstating the buildings, as originally designed and constructed. Those buildings, which due to their special nature, are rarely, if ever, sold on the open market, have been valued at depreciated replacement cost. This basis is considered appropriate as it reflects the fact that listed buildings and buildings of this specialised nature cannot be replaced with simpler and less expensive buildings.

In the opinion of the valuers at the time of the valuation, depreciated replacement cost valuations for buildings on the above described basis are higher than an open market value for alternative use rather than existing use.

Under the terms of the financial memorandum with the Office for Students, the proportion of the proceeds on sale of assets attributed to the publicly funded assets is retained by the University only with the approval of the Office for Students. All proceeds of sale retained by the University are required under Charities law to be re-invested in full in new capital assets.

Freehold land at Oxstalls, The Folley and Hardwick was revalued as at 1 August 2014 by Bruton Knowles, Independent Chartered Surveyors.

If both freehold and leasehold land and buildings had not been revalued before being deemed as cost on transition, and on the assumption that the assets transferred from the Gloucestershire County Council were at nil cost, they would have been included at the following historical cost amounts:

 Consolidated and University
 Land and buildings
 2023 2022  
 £000 £000
Cost135,603 134,956
Aggregate depreciation based on cost43,350 40,909

15 Service concession arrangements

The University has one service concession arrangement where service delivery has commenced. On 21 January 2016 the University entered a 46-year contract with a third-party provider for the creation of a student village at Pittville to include the refurbishment of existing student accommodation to house 215 students and the construction of new accommodation for an additional 577 students. The construction of the new accommodation was completed for the start of the 2017-18 Academic Year.

The University nominates rooms in the student village on an annual basis, during the year ended 31 July 2023 the University nominated 80% of the accommodation available for the 2023-24 Academic Year. Since the year end, this nomination has increased to 86.74%.

Movement in service concession arrangement assets:

The asset value of the service concession included in debtors as at 31 July 2023 is £4,353k (2022: £3,898k).

Movement in service concession arrangement liabilities:

The total liability relating to the service concession included in creditors: amounts falling due within one year as at 31 July 2023 was £4,353k (2022: £3,898k).

16 Non-current investments  Endowment asset investments  Other fixed asset investments  Total    
At beginning of year  2,754 5 2,759
Additions at cost  520  520
Revaluation  34  34
Disposals  (624)  (624)
At year end  2,684 5 2,689
At beginning of year  2,210 5 2,215
Additions at cost  405  405
Revaluation  45  45
Disposals  (532)  (532)
At year end  2,128 5 2,133
The non-current investments have been valued at market value.

a) Investment in subsidiary companies

Details of the companies, all registered in England and Wales, in which the University holds an interest, are as follows:

Name of companyPercentage holding of ordinary sharesShareholdingPrincipal business activity 
Fullwood Park Limited100%100 Ordinary £1 sharesProvision of conference and catering services 
University of Gloucestershire Professional Services Limited100%1 Ordinary £1 shareProvision and management of professional services staff   

The registered office for Fullwood Park Limited and University of Gloucestershire Professional Services Limited is The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH.

b) The Janet Trotter Trust

The activities of The Janet Trotter Trust, a registered charity, are consolidated within endowment reserves on the grounds that the University has a controlling influence over its activities. The accounts of The Janet Trotter Trust for the year to 31 July 2023 show total net assets of £620,698 (2022: £645,455) and net expenditure and movement in funds for the year of £5,561 (2022: net income – £48,930).

c) Other fixed asset investments

Other fixed asset investments include the share capital held by the University in Uliving@Gloucestershire Holdco Limited. The University holds 5,030 £1 ordinary shares in the company, which comprises 10% of the issued share capital. The company was set up to manage the contract for the construction and running of the Pittville student village (see note 15).

17 DebtorsConsolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University 2023 University  2022
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Trade debtors13,241 11,276 13,226 11,264
Other debtors1,189 1,210 1,176 1,210
Service concession arrangements (note 15)4,353 3,898 4,353 3,898
Amounts owed by subsidiary companies  155 279
Prepayments and accrued income9,156 3,566 9,151 3,566
 27,939 19,950 28,061 20,217
Included within other debtors is £1,033,000 in respect of an interest bearing loan due from Uliving@Gloucestershire Finco Limited. The loan to Uliving@Gloucestershire Finco Limited was used by the company as part of the overall financing of the Pittville student village project (see note 15). The loan is for a period of 46 years with capital repayments to be made over the last 11 years.

Amounts due from group undertakings are unsecured, interest free, have no fixed date of repayment and are repayable on demand.     
18 Current investmentsConsolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University 2023 University  2022
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Short term deposits28,538 27,963 28,538 27,963
19 Creditors: amounts falling due within one yearConsolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University 2023 University  2022
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Secured loans2,935 1,847 2,935 1,847
Service concession arrangements (note 15)4,353 3,898 4,353 3,898
Payment received on account11,401 9,855 11,401 9,855
Trade creditors983 1,332 893 1,319
Amounts owed to subsidiary companies  69 
Social security and other taxation payable1,214 1,104 1,214 1,104
Pensions973 958 973 958
Deferred capital grants2,093 1,642 2,093 1,642
Accruals and deferred income22,702 12,620 22,617 12,584
 46,654 33,256 46,548 33,207
Amounts due to group undertakings are unsecured, interest free, have no fixed date of repayment and are repayable on demand.
20 Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one yearConsolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University 2023 University  2022
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Secured loans27,068 21,003 27,068 21,003
Derivatives 101  101
Deferred capital grants26,826 22,364 26,826 22,364
 53,894 43,468 53,894 43,468
Analysis of secured and unsecured loans       
Due within one year2,935 1,847 2,935 1,847
Due between one and two years2,935 2,935 2,935 2,935
Due between two and five years24,133 18,068 24,133 18,068
 30,003 22,850 30,003 22,850

In 2016, the University re-financed all of its existing interest bearing loans and finance leases into a new loan for £15.7 million with the Royal Bank of Scotland. This loan runs to October 2026 and is managed using a series of short term interest contracts at LIBOR + 1.45%. This loan is secured on University property.

In May 2022, the University entered a contract with Barclays for a £29 million secured loan facility, increasing its borrowing facility by £14m to fund the development of the new City Centre Campus and refinance existing borrowings. As at 31 July 2023 £24 million has been drawn down to settle the outstanding HSBC secured loan facility. The remaining £5 million is due to be drawn down by October 2023 in line with the City Centre capital expenditure. The loan is for an initial term of four years, with an option to extend for a further two years.

To reduce uncertainty, a swap contract with the Royal Bank of Scotland was put in place in 2005 to fix a proportion of the loan interest at 4.56%. This swap contract runs until 2025. This has been included in the balance sheet at the year-end valuation.

21 Deferred capital grants Consolidated & University Consolidated & University Consolidated & University
  Funding Councils Other grants & benefactions Total
  £000 £000 £000
At beginning of year      
Buildings 11,538 7,580 19,118
Equipment 3,129 1,759 4,888
  14,667 9,339 24,006
Cash received      
Buildings 5,915  5,915
Equipment 206 1,797 2,003
  6,121 1,797 7,918
Released to income and expenditure      
Buildings (630) (384) (1,014)
Equipment (382) (1,609) (1,991)
  (1,012) (1,993) (3,005)
At end of year      
Buildings 16,823 7,196 24,019
Equipment 2,953 1,947 4,900
  19,776 9,143 28,919
22 Provisions  LGPS Defined benefit obligations Obligation to fund deficit on USS and CEFPS   Pensioners       Other       Total
   £000 £000 £000 £000 £000
At beginning of year  8,377 889 898 249 10,413
Utilised during the year  (9,750)  (253)  (10,003)
Transfer from Income and Expenditure  1,373 (230) 137 30 1,310
At end of year   659 782 279 1,720
   LGPS Defined benefit obligations Obligation to fund deficit on USS and CEFPS       Pensioners         Other         Total
   £000 £000 £000 £000 £000
At beginning of year  8,377 889 898 249 10,413
Utilised during the year  (9,750)  (253)  (10,003)
Transfer from Income and Expenditure  1,373 (230) 137 30 1,310
At end of year   659 782 279 1,720
23 Endowment reserves  Restricted permanent endowments
 Expendable endowments   £000 Total  2023 £000 Total  2022 £000
At beginning of year       
Capital2,292 1,603 3,895 4,068
Accumulated income(126) (633) (759) (704)
 2,166 970 3,136 3,364
New Endowments 8 8 7
Investment income39 23 62 109
Expenditure(123) (32) (155) (165)
 (84) (1) (85) (49)
Increase in market value of investments45 (20) 25 (179)
At end of year2,127 949 3,076 3,136
Analysis by type of purpose       
Fellowships and scholarship prizes 8 8 4
Prize funds14 77 91 83
Other funds2,113 864 2,977 3,049
 2,127 949 3,076 3,136
Analysis by asset       
Current and non-current asset investments    2,683 2,745
Cash and cash equivalents    393 391
     3,076 3,136
At beginning of year       
Capital2,292 987 3,279 3,374
Accumulated income(126) (661) (787) (682)
 2,166 326 2,492 2,692
New Endowments 8 8 7
Investment income39 7 46 45
Expenditure(123) (12) (135) (150)
 (84) 3 (81) (98)
Increase in market value of investments46 (1) 45 (102)
At end of year2,128 328 2,456 2,492
Analysis by type of purpose       
Fellowships and scholarship prizes 8 8 4
Prize funds14 77 91 85
Other funds2,114 243 2,357 2,403
 2,128 328 2,456 2,492
Analysis by asset       
Current and non-current asset investments    2,128 2,209
Cash and cash equivalents    328 283
     2,456 2,492
24 Restricted ReserveConsolidated 2023
 Consolidated 2022
 University  2023
 University 2022
At beginning of year25 21 25 21
New endowments and donations5 5 5 5
Expenditure(2) (1) (2) (1)
At end of year28 25 28 25
Analysis by type of purpose       
Scholarships and bursaries10 9 10 9
Other funds18 16 18 16
 28 25 28 25
25 Revaluation ReserveConsolidated 2023
 Consolidated 2022
 University  2023
 University 2022
At beginning of year27,815 27,815 27,815 27,815
At end of year27,815 27,815 27,815 27,815
Contributions to depreciation       
At beginning of year(27,815) (27,815) (27,815) (27,815)
At end of year(27,815) (27,815) (27,815) (27,815)
Revaluation reserve       
At end of year   
At beginning of year   
26 Lease obligationsConsolidated 2023 
 Consolidated 2022 
 University  2023
 University 2022
Future minimum lease payments under non-cancellable operating leases are as follows:       
Within 1 year439 443 439 443
Between 2 and 5 years1,560 1,503 1,560 1,503
Over 5 years734 1,101 734 1,101
 2,733 3,047 2,733 3,047
Land and buildings2,585 2,959 2,585 2,959
Other operating leases148 88 148 88
 2,733 3,047 2,733 3,047
27 Capital commitmentsConsolidated 2023
 Consolidated 2022
 University  2023
 University  2022
Authorised but not contracted       
At end of year1,992 27,204 1,992 27,204
Authorised and contracted       
At end of year32,029 6,095 32,029 6,095

28 Contingent liabilities

The University has previously received a grant of £250,000 from the Church of England Central Board of Finance. This becomes payable in the event of the University withdrawing teacher training facilities.

29 Events after the reporting period

Since the financial year end the University has taken the decision to no longer develop the Reynolds building at Park Campus and have subsequently pulled the planning application. This decision has created an adjusting post balance sheet event with the £0.3m contracted costs incurred during 22/23 now reflected within the Comprehensive Statement of Income and Expenditure. The capital grant monies received to date from the Ofs have been reclassified as a liability with the expectation that these monies will be paid back to the Ofs during 23/24.

In addition, Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust, who managed the Oxstalls Sports Centre, and Sports Arena ceased trading on 29 September. All facilities were forced to close having a significant impact on the University and local community. The University took the swift decision to take over operational responsibility of its own facilities allowing the services to re-open. Positive conversations with Gloucester City Council continue how future community bookings will be managed.

On 29 September 2023, the University exchanged conditional contracts for the sale of the playing fields currently known as The Folly in Cheltenham.

30 Cash and cash equivalents

 At beginning of year Cash flows At end of year
 £000 £000 £000
Cash at bank and in hand2,293 306 2,599
Short term deposits27,963 575 28,538
 30,256 881 31,137
Cash at bank and in hand1,966 351 2,317
Short term deposits27,963 575 28,538
 29,929 926 30,855

31 Consolidated reconciliation of net debt

     Consolidated 2023
Net debt 1 August    24,556
Movement in cash and cash equivalents    (306)
Movement in secured loans    7,153
Other non-cash changes    354
Net debt 31 July    31,757
Change in net debt    7,201
Analysis of net debt:  Consolidated 2023 Consolidated
   £000 £000
Cash and cash equivalents  2,599 2,293
Borrowings: amounts falling due within one year     
Secured loans  2,935 1,847
Service concession arrangements  4,353 3,898
   7,288 5,745
Borrowings: amounts falling due after more than one year     
Secured loans  27,068 21,003
Derivatives   101
   27,068 21,104
Net debt  31,757 24,556
32 Financial instrumentsConsolidated 2023 Consolidated 2022 University  2023 University 2022
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Financial assets       
Financial assets at fair value through statement of comprehensive income       
– Listed investments2,684 2,753 2,128 2,209
Financial assets that are equity instruments measured at cost less impairment       
– Other investments5 5 5 5
Financial assets that are debt instruments measured at amortised cost       
– Cash and cash equivalents2,599 2,293 2,317 1,966
– Current investments28,538 27,963 28,538 27,963
– Trade debtors13,241 11,276 13,226 11,264
– Other debtors1,189 1,210 1,176 1,210
– Amounts owed by subsidiary companies  155 280
– Accrued income1,443 1,563 1,443 1,563
 49,699 47,063 48,988 46,460
Financial liabilities
Financial liabilities measured at amortised cost
– Secured loans30,00322,85030,00322,850
– Service concession arrangement4,3533,8984,3533,898
– Trade creditors9831,3328931,319
– Accruals12,7127,67012,6477,606
– Derivatives101101

33 Related party transactions

To capture information on related party transactions, the University has written to members of Council.  Due to the nature of the University’s operations and the composition of Council, being drawn from commerce, industry and the public sector, it is inevitable that transactions will take place with organisations in which a member of Council has a connection. All such connections are declared annually in the Register of Council Members Interests. All such transactions are conducted at arm’s length and in accordance with the University’s Financial Regulations with regards to procurement.

Relevant significant relationships held by members of Council who served in the year are:

(i) Mr S Marston is a board member of the Gloucester Culture Trust, and a Board member of Advance HE and Universities UK
(ii) Ms Ingrid Barker is Chair of Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
(iii) Paul Crichard is Chief Information Security Officer for SERCO UK & Europe
(iv) Nicola de Iongh is a Board member of the Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
(v) Steve Mawson is a Board member of the Gloucestershire LEP and Director of Finance at Gloucestershire County Council
(vi) Miss E Hill is a Senior Manager of the Gloucestershire Students’ Union
(vii) Miss B Timmons is a Senior Manager of the Gloucestershire Students’ Union
(viii) Miss P Archer is a Trustee of the Gloucestershire Students Union
(ix) Miss I Williams is a Trustee of the Gloucestershire Students Union
(x) Pam Sissons is a Director of Winchcombe School

For the year ended 31 July 2023 expenses totalling £804 (2022: £35) were claimed by two Directors and Trustees in respect of their responsibilities as a Director and Trustee. The University does not remunerate its external Directors and Trustees. The salaries of members of staff who serve on Council do not include any element specific to this role.

The University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union, is a separately constituted entity which is governed by its own Board of Directors, of which Miss E Hill and Miss B Timmons are senior officers. The University has no financial interest, control or significant influence over policy decisions. The University helps to support the core activities with a block grant on an annual basis which include Student Representation; Student Opportunities; support for Student Volunteering; Student Events & Entertainments; and Student Sport & Societies. During the year sales of £13,220 (2022: £1,770) and purchases of £614,879 (2022: £520,595) relating to core activities were transacted with the Student Union. At the year-end a balance of £517 (2022: £174) was due to The University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union and a year-end balance of £290 (2022: £198) was owed to The University.

34 The Teaching Regulation Agency

The University, acting as agent for the Teaching Regulation Agency, disbursed £156,000 (2022: £218,000) training bursaries to students undergoing Initial Teacher Training for the year ended 31 July 2023. The training bursaries have not been included in the income and expenditure of the University.

35 Pension schemes

(a) Teachers’ Pension Scheme

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS or scheme) is a statutory, unfunded, defined benefit occupational scheme, governed by the Teachers’ Pensions Regulations 2010 (as amended), and the Teachers’ Pension Scheme Regulations 2014 (as amended). These regulations apply to teachers in schools and other educational establishments, including academies, in England and Wales that are maintained by local authorities. In addition, teachers in many independent and voluntary-aided schools and teachers and lecturers in some establishments of further and higher education may be eligible for membership.

Membership is automatic for full-time teachers and lecturers and, from 1 January 2007, automatic too for teachers and lecturers in part-time employment following appointment or a change of contract. Teachers and lecturers are able to opt out of the TPS.

Although members may be employed by various bodies, their retirement and other pension benefits are set out in regulations made under the Superannuation Act (1972) and Public Service Pensions Act (2013) and are paid by public funds provided by Parliament. The TPS is an unfunded scheme and members contribute on a ’pay as you go ‘basis – contributions from members, along with those made by employers, are credited to the Exchequer under arrangements governed by the above Acts.

The Teachers’ Pensions Regulations 2010 require an annual account, the Teachers’ Pension Budgeting and Valuation Account, to be kept of receipts and expenditure (including the cost of pension increases). From 1 April 2001, the Account has been credited with a real rate of return, which is equivalent to assuming that the balance in the Account is invested in notional investments that produce that real rate of return.

As a result of the latest scheme valuation employer contributions were increased in September 2019 from a rate of 16.4% to 23.6%. Employers also pay a charge equivalent to 0.08% of pensionable salary costs to cover administration expenses.

The next valuation is expected to take effect in 2023.

A copy of the latest valuation report can be found by following this link to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme website.

In December 2018, the Court of Appeal held that transitional protection provisions contained in the reformed judicial and firefighter pension schemes, introduced as part of public service pension reforms in 2015, gave rise to direct age discrimination and were therefore unlawful. The Supreme Court, in a decision made in June 2019, rejected the Government’s application for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s ruling and subsequently referred the case to an Employment Tribunal to determine a remedy which will need to be offered to those members of the two schemes who were subject of the age discrimination.

Since then, claims have also been lodged against the main public service schemes including the TPS. The Department has conceded those in line with the rest of the government. In July 2020 HM Treasury launched a 12-week public consultation aimed at providing evidence to support the delivery of an appropriate remedy for the affected schemes, including TPS. The outcome of that consultation was published by the Government in February 2021, confirming that the remedy would take the form of a deferred choice underpin and the members in scope. The Department is now working with stakeholders on the detail of TPS specific changes to deliver the remedy and with the scheme administrator to put in place arrangements for implementation.

In December 2019, a further legal challenge was made against the TPS relating to an identified equalities issue whereby male survivors of opposite-sex marriages and civil partnerships are treated less favourably than survivors in same-sex marriages and civil partnerships. The Secretary of State for Education agreed not to defend the case. In June 2020, the Employment Tribunal recorded its findings in respect of the claimant. DfE is currently working to establish what changes are necessary to address this discrimination.

Any impact of these events will be taken into account when the next scheme valuation is implemented. This is scheduled to be implemented in April 2024, based on April 2020 data.

The total consolidated pension costs under the Teachers’ Pension Scheme for the University were:

 2023 2022
 £000 £000
Contributions to Teachers’ Pensions4,931 4,577

b) Universities Superannuation Scheme

The institution participates in Universities Superannuation Scheme. The assets of the scheme are held in a separate trustee-administered fund. Because of the mutual nature of the scheme, the assets are not attributed to individual institutions and a scheme-wide contribution rate is set. The institution is therefore exposed to actuarial risks associated with other institutions’ employees and is unable to identify its share of the underlying assets and liabilities of the scheme on a consistent and reasonable basis. As required by Section 28 of FRS 102 “Employee benefits”, the institution therefore accounts for the scheme as if it were a defined contribution scheme. As a result, the amount charged to the profit and loss account represents the contributions payable to the scheme. Since the institution has entered into an agreement (the Recovery Plan) that determines how each employer within the scheme will fund the overall deficit, the institution recognises a liability for the contributions payable that arise from the agreement (to the extent that they relate to the deficit) with related expenses being recognised through the profit and loss account.

FRS 102 makes the distinction between a group plan and a multi-employer scheme. A group plan consists of a collection of entities under common control typically with a sponsoring employer. A multi-employer scheme is a scheme for entities not under common control and represents (typically) an industry-wide scheme such as Universities Superannuation Scheme. The accounting for a multi-employer scheme where the employer has entered into an agreement with the scheme that determines how the employer will fund a deficit results in the recognition of a liability for the contributions payable that arise from the agreement (to the extent that they relate to the deficit) and the resulting expense in profit or loss in accordance with section 28 of FRS 102. The directors are satisfied that Universities Superannuation Scheme meets the definition of a multi-employer scheme and has therefore recognised the discounted fair value of the contractual contributions under the recovery plan in existence at the date of approving these financial statements.

The total cost charged to the statement of comprehensive income and expenditure is £179,398 (2022: £199,899).

Deficit recovery contributions due within one year for the institution are £51,494 (2022: £54,672).

The latest available complete actuarial valuation of the Retirement Income Builder is at 31 March 2020 (the valuation date), which was carried out using the projected unit method.

Since the institution cannot identify its share of USS Retirement Income Builder (defined benefit) assets and liabilities, the following disclosures reflect those relevant for those assets and liabilities as a whole.

The 2020 valuation was the sixth valuation for the scheme under the scheme-specific funding regime introduced by the Pensions Act 2004, which requires schemes to have sufficient and appropriate assets to cover their technical provisions. At the valuation date, the value of the assets of the scheme was £66.5 billion and the value of the scheme’s technical provisions was £80.6 billion indicating a shortfall of £14.1 billion and a funding ratio of 83%.

The key financial assumptions used in the 2020 valuation are described below. More detail is set out in the Statement of Funding Principles.  

Pension increases (CPI)

Term dependent rates in line with the difference between the Fixed Interest and Index Linked yield curves, less 1.1% p.a to 2030, reducing linearly by 0.1%p.a to a long term difference of 0.1% p.a from 2040.

Pension increases (subject to a floor of 0%)

CPI assumption plus 0.05%

Discount rate (forward rates)

Fixed interest gilt yield curve plus Pre-retirement: 2.75% p.a. and Post retirement: 1.00% p.a.

The main demographic assumption used relates to the mortality assumptions. These assumptions are based on analysis of the scheme’s experience carried out as part of the 2020 actuarial valuation. The mortality assumptions used in these figures are as follows:

 2020 valuation
Mortality base table101% of S2PMA “light” for males and 95% of S3PFA for females
Future improvements to mortalityCMI_2019 with a smoothing parameter of 7.5 and an initial of 0.5% p.a. and a long term improvement rate of 1.8% p.a. for males and 1.6% p.a. for females.

The current life expectancies on retirement at age 65 are:

Males currently aged 65 (years)24.023.9
Females currently aged 65 (years)25.625.5
Males currently aged 45 (years)26.025.9
Females currently aged 45 (years)27.427.3

A new deficit recovery plan was put in place as part of the 2020 valuation, which requires payment of 6.2% of salaries over the period 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2024, at which point the rate will increase to 6.3%. The 2023 deficit recovery liability reflects this plan. The liability figures have been produced using the following assumptions:

Discount rate5.49%3.33%
Pensionable salary growth4.00%3.00%

c) Gloucestershire County Council Superannuation Scheme

Non-academic staff belong to the Gloucestershire County Council Superannuation Scheme. The scheme is a defined benefits scheme in the UK and is externally funded. The total contributions made for the year ended 31 July 2023 were £4,693m, of which employer’s contributions totalled £3,632m and employees’ contributions totalled £1,061m. The agreed contribution rates for future years are 22.1% for employers and range from 5.5% to 12.5% for employees, depending on salary.

The following information is based on the last full actuarial valuation carried out at 31 March 2022 updated to 31 July 2022 by a qualified independent actuary, Hymans Robertson.

Latest actuarial valuations31 March 2022
Investment returns per annum4.20%
Salary scale increases per annum3.20%
Pension increases per annum2.70%
Price Inflation       2.70%

The estimate of contributions expected to be paid in the next year (year ending 31 July 2024) are £3,631m at a contribution rate of 22.1% until the next actuarial valuation change in April 2026.

The major assumptions used by the Actuary were:

 31 July 202331 July 202231 July 2021
Pension increase rate3.00%10.1%2.80%
Salary increase rate3.50%3.00%3.10%
Expected return on assets5.05%3.50%1.60%
Discount rate5.05%3.50%1.60%
Inflation assumption3.50%3.50%1.60%

The mortality assumptions assume that the current rate of improvements have peaked and will converge to a long term rate of 1.5%. Based on these assumptions, the average life expectancies at age 65 are:

Current Pensioners31 July 202331 July 202231 July 2021
Future Pensioners (at age 45)   

The amounts recognised in the Consolidated and University statement of income and expenditure, in accordance with the requirements of FRS 102 are:

 2023 2022
 £000 £000
Amounts included in staff costs   
Current service cost4,693 9,996
 4,693 9,996
Amounts included in interest and other finance costs   
Interest income on plan assets(4,600) (2,077)
Interest on pension scheme liabilities4,912 3,246
Net charge to other finance costs312 1,169
Amount recognised in other comprehensive income   
Return on pension plan assets(3,231) (2,749)
Changes in demographic assumptions4,045 666
Changes in financial assumptions17,857  71,564
Experience (gains)/losses arising on defined benefit obligations(8,921) (465)
 9,750 69,016
An analysis of the amount shown in the balance sheets at 31 July 2023 and 31 July 2022 is:     
 31 July 2023 31 July 2022
 £000 £000
Total market value of assets133,923 130,526
Actuarial value of scheme liabilities(133,923) (138,903)
Balance of the scheme – Net pension liability recorded within pension provisions (8,377)

The movements in the net liability are as follows:

Movement in net defined (liability) during the year   
Net defined liability in scheme at 1 August(8,377) (70,016)
Current service cost(4,693) (9,996)
Employer contributions3,632 3,788
Net interest on the defined (liability)(312) (1,169)
Actuarial gain/(loss)9,750 69,016
Net defined balance in scheme at 31 July (8,377)
Movement in present value of the pension scheme during the year   
Present value at 1 August138,903 198,687
Current service cost (net of member contributions)4,693 9,996
Net interest4,912 3,246
Plan participants’ contributions1,061 1,109
Actuarial (gain)/loss(12,981) (71,765)
Actual benefit payments(2,665) (2,370)
Present value at 31 July133,923 138,903
 31 July 2023 31 July 2022
Movement in the fair value of scheme assets£000 £000
Fair value at 1 August130,526 128,671
Expected return on assets(3,231) (2,749)
Interest income on plan assets4,600 2,077
Actual contributions paid by University3,632 3,788
Plan participants’ contributions1,061 1,109
Actual benefit payments(2,665) (2,370)
Fair value at 31 July133,923 130,526

History of experience gains and losses:

 Year to July 2023Year to July 2022Year to July 2021Year to July 2020Year to July 2019
Difference between the expected and actual return on assets     
Amount (£’000)(3,231)(2,749)20,047(3,815)3,951
Percentage of assets at year end(2.41)%(2.11)%15.58%(3.64)%3.81%
Experience gains/(losses) on liabilities     
Amount (£’000)(12,981)(71,765)21,50015,10315,435
Percentage of liabilities at year end(9.69)%(51.67)%10.82%8.98%10.71%

d) Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme

The University of Gloucestershire participates in the Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme for stipendiary clergy, a defined benefit pension scheme. This scheme is administered by the Church of England Pensions Board, which holds the assets of the schemes separately from those of the Responsible Bodies.

Each participating Responsible Body in the Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme pays contributions at a common contribution rate applied to pensionable stipends.

The scheme is considered to be a multi-employer scheme as described in Section 28 of FRS 102. This means it is not possible to attribute the scheme’s assets and liabilities to specific Responsible Body, and this means contributions are accounted for as if the scheme were a defined contribution scheme. The pensions costs charged to the Consolidated and University statement of comprehensive income and expenditure in the year are contributions payable towards benefits and expenses accrued in that year (2022: £10k, 2021: £10k), plus figures highlighted in the table below, giving a total charge of £8k for 2021 (2021: £8k).

A valuation of the Scheme is carried out once every three years. The most recent Scheme valuation completed was carried out at as 31 December 2021. The 2021 valuation revealed a surplus of £560m, based on assets of £2,720m and a funding target of £2,160m, assessed using the following assumptions:

Following the 31 December 2018 valuation, a deficit recovery plan was put in place until 31 December 2022 and the deficit recovery contributions (as a percentage of pensionable stipends) were as set out in the table below.  An interim reduction to deficit contributions to 3.2% of pensionable stipends was made with effect from 1 April 2022. Following finalisation of the 31 December 2021 valuation, deficit contributions ceased with effect from 1 January 2023, since the Scheme was in surplus.

As at 31 December 2020 and 31 December 2021 the deficit recovery contributions under the recovery plan in force were as set out in the table below. For senior office holders, pensionable stipends are adjusted in the calculations by a multiple, as set out in the Scheme’s rules.

% of pensionable stipendsJanuary 2018 to December 2020January 2021 to December 2022
Deficit repair contributions  11.9%7.1%

Section 28.11A of FRS 102 requires agreed deficit recovery payments to be recognised as a liability.  However, as there are no agreed deficit recovery payments from 1 January 2023 onwards, the balance sheet liability as at 31 December 2022 is nil. The movement in the balance sheet liability over 2021 and over 2022 is set out in the table below.

Balance Sheet liability at 1 January 20222,0004,000
Deficit contributions paid  (1,000)(2,000)
Remaining change to the balance sheet liability *   (1,000)
Balance Sheet liability at 31 December 20222,000

* comprises change in agreed deficit recovery plan and change in discount rate between year-ends

This liability represents the present value of the deficit contributions agreed as at the accounting date and has been valued using the following assumptions. No assumptions are needed for December 2022 as there are no agreed deficit recovery payments going forward. No price inflation assumption was needed for December 2021 since pensionable stipends for the remainder of the recovery plan were already known.

 December 2022 December 2021 December 2020
Discount rate         n/a 0.0% 0.2%
Price inflation         n/a n/a 3.1%
Increase to total pensionable payroll         n/a (1.5)% 1.6%

The legal structure of the scheme is such that if another Responsible Body fails, University of Gloucestershire could become responsible for paying a share of that Responsible Body’s pension liabilities.

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