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Financial Statements

Last updated: 7 March 2022

For the year ended 31 July 2021

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 Governing Body of the University of Gloucestershire                                                                                            

Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 July 2021

Members of Council and major committees

Members of council for the period 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021

Membership of major Council committees as at 31 July 2021
​​Ms I Barker Audit and Risk Committee
Mr L Brown (resigned 30 June 2021)Mrs P Sissons *
Mr P Bungard (Vice-Chair, resigned 31 July 2021)Ms I Barker
Mr P CrichardMr P Crichard
Ms N de Iongh (Chair)Mr C Fung
Mr C FungMr S Mawson
Mr S GardinerMs J Atherton (co-opted member)
Ms A Jones (appointed 1 July 2021)Mr P Tinson (co-opted member)
Mr D Jones (resigned 31 October 2020) Council and Foundation Standing Group
Mr S Marston The Rt Revd R Springett *
Mr A Mawby (resigned 7 December 2020) Dr C Baker
Mr S Mawson The Revd Canon Dr A Braddock
Mr S Maycock Mr S Bullock
Dr A Misiura Mr I Davies
Ms I Mitchell (resigned 30 June 2021) Mr K Hobbis
Ms M Patrick Mrs R Howie
Mr D Ramsay Ms A Jones
Dr A Shafi (appointed 1 November 2020) Dr A Long
Mrs P Sissons Mr S Marston
Ms E Soros (appointed 11 January 2021) Mr S Maycock
Mr D Soutter Revd Dr M Parsons
The Rt Revd R Springett (Vice-Chair from 1 August 2021)  Ms M Rawson
Ms A Sutton (appointed 1 July 2021) Revd S Witcombe
Dr P Warry
Ms J Walkling (appointed 1 August 2021) Finance and General Purposes Committee
Mr D Soutter*
Board Apprentices Mr S Gardiner
Ms J Hopkins (appointed 1 February 2021) Mr S Marston
Ms S Perret (resigned 31 August 2021) Mr S Maycock
 Ms M Patrick
 Governance and Nominations Committee
Ms N de Iongh *
 Mr S Gardiner
Mr S Marston
 Mr S Maycock
Dr A Shafi
 Remuneration and Human Resources Committee
Mr P Bungard *
 Ms N de Iongh
Mrs P Sissons
 Ms E Soros
Mr D Soutter
 Ms A Sutton
Dr P Warry

* denotes Chair

Honorary posts, officers and advisers

Honorary postsRegistered office

Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE

Pro Chancellors

Sir Henry Elwes

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

Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Dr R O’Doherty (resigned 31 October 2020)
Prof J Labbe (appointed 1 June 2021)

Chief Financial Officer
Mrs C Stallard

University Secretary and Registrar
Dr M Andrews

Dean of Academic Development
Prof D James

Company Secretary
Dr M Andrews​
Pinsent Masons LLP
55 Colmore Row
B3 2FG

Registered External Auditors
Grant Thornton UK LLP
Seacourt Tower

Registered Internal Auditors
St Nicholas House
31 Park Row

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

62 George White Street
Cabot Circus

Operating and financial review

Executive summary

This report reviews the University’s activities in the year 2020-21 in the context of the challenges and risks within which the University operates, and comprises the following sections: 

Section 1: Summary of the year  

Section 2: Strategic Priorities  

Section 3: Financial Performance  

3.1 Key financial highlights  

3.2 Review of the year  

3.3 Financial sustainability and key performance indicators  

3.4 Payment of creditors  

3.5 Value for money  

3.6 Accounting systems  

3.7 Post balance sheet events  

Section 4:  Future plans, risks and developments  

Section 5: Public benefit statement  

Section 6: Senior staff remuneration  

6.1 Introduction  

6.2 Remuneration and Human Resources Committee  

6.3 Approach to senior staff remuneration  

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

6.5 Pay ratios  

6.6 Remuneration of the Executive Group  

6.7 External appointments  

6.8 Expenses  

Section 7: Corporate Governance  

7.1 Introduction  

7.2 Summary of the University’s structure of Corporate Governance  

7.3 Financial responsibilities of the University’s Council  

7.4 Disclosure of information to Auditor  

7.5 Statement of Internal Control  

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

Section 1: Summary of the year

  1. The 2020/21 operating and financial year was uniquely challenging, both for the University of Gloucestershire and the wider University sector. As the Coronavirus pandemic evolved, with fluctuations in transmission rates and the emergence of new variants, the University had to adapt rapidly. Despite all, the University was able to keep operating successfully. And during the year we put in place some major new strategic developments which will significantly shape our future growth and direction.
  2. In responding to the pandemic, the University adopted a number of guiding principles. We followed Government advice at every stage, notably on when students were allowed to return to campus for face to face teaching and learning. We gave top priority to keeping our community safe, and we are proud of the responsible way staff and students supported and looked after each other, working together to keep everyone safe, with a very low rate of positive cases.
  3. Within these constraints, we endeavored to keep all teaching, learning, assessment and support services operating on line so that students could continue to learn and achieve. Wherever possible within Government restrictions, we gave students access to our specialist facilities and equipment, recognizing that the applied and professional nature of most of our courses makes it important that students can undertake practical and creative project work. Thanks to the outstanding professionalism and commitment of our staff, we could make good use of our previous investment in technologies to provide high quality, engaging and varied resources for teaching and learning. We introduced online examinations, and all students were able to take assessments or exams in order to demonstrate their achievements and graduate on time.
  4. Self-evidently, these were not circumstances that anyone wanted to face. Our students rightly felt that they were not getting the full University experience they had expected, missing many of the social and wider development opportunities normally available. Our staff faced the stresses and challenges of trying to teach and support students while working from home, often balancing home schooling or caring responsibilities as well. But both staff and students can be proud of the way our community pulled together, continuing to function successfully despite all.
  5. As in every year, recruitment and retention of students has been critical. The University achieved growth of 709 (21%) in new student enrolments throughout the 2020/21 academic year, compared with the previous year. That helped to lift our total student enrolments on campus, including higher and degree apprenticeships, to 8,879. In addition, we registered 2,819 student enrolments on validated and franchised courses delivered through partners compared with 2,534 in the previous year. Our total student enrolment, on campus and at partners, was therefore 11,486.
  6. One factor contributing to this successful recruitment position is that the University has continued our strategy of extending the portfolio of courses we offer, particularly those with clear professional pathways to good careers. The School of Health and Social Care has achieved particular success, introducing new courses in 2020/21 in Nursing (Learning Disabilities), Diagnostic Radiography, Operating Department Practice, and Nursing in a blended format distributed across centres in Oxford, Bristol, Bath and Swindon. We launched new courses in biomedical sciences, and in architecture, construction and the built environment, enrolling their first cohort in September 2021. The University has continued to invest in higher and degree apprenticeships, seeing them as an effective way to partner with employers in offering new routes to help learners gain skills and qualifications while in work. Our number of enrolled apprentices has risen from 40 in 2016/17 to 561 in 2020/21, and we expect to exceed 700 apprentice enrolments in 2021/22.
  1. In the light of these developments, the University undertook a major review during the year to assess our capacity for growth in student numbers over the next decade. We are a relatively small University, and we believe growth would bring greater resilience, and enable us to realise more fully our educational mission. We believe that the quality and style of University experience we offer will support long term growth in demand. The review took into account demographic trends, projected patterns of participation, trends in student applications by subject and age, and future skills demands. It concluded that the University could realistically aim for growth of over 50% by 2030, and the Council approved in March a Growth Ambition Plan profiled over that period. We will continue to extend and diversify our course portfolio, by subject, mode of delivery, and level in order to capitalize on the opportunities for growth we see. At the same time, and recognizing the increasingly competitive market for student recruitment and the risks apparent in the wider policy environment, we will review progress towards the ambition each year, and adjust the profile as needed.
  2. This growth ambition will outstrip the University’s existing on campus accommodation. Although we have allowed for both an increase in online learning by students and in home working by staff, we believe the reaction of most students to the pandemic shows that there remains a strong preference for on-campus, face-to-face delivery. So when the opportunity arose to purchase the former Debenhams Department Store in Gloucester, the University decided it was an excellent investment in securing our long-term accommodation needs. It is an iconic building offering some 20,000m2 of space in the heart of the historic city, adjacent to other major regeneration projects currently underway.
  3. The new ‘City Campus’ (formerly the Debenhams Department store in Gloucester) will house the School of Health and Social Care and the School of Education and Humanities, and will offer significant opportunities for new partnerships in the delivery of public services. It will place the University at the heart of our community, and has been widely welcomed by local stakeholders. The University completed the purchase for £2.65 million + VAT. We are appointing the professional support we need in order to undertake a total redevelopment of the building to create an outstanding teaching and learning environment for our students and staff. The development will be funded through a combination of commercial borrowing, Government grants and fund-raising and will commence once all funds have been secured.
  4. In our current strategic plan, our first goal is to enable all our students to achieve their full potential, progressing to successful careers and rewarding lives. Although lockdown significantly constrained the range of placements and extra-curricular activities (such as field trips) we could offer, we continued to provide employability support for all students through the Your Future Plan programme. We still achieved 3,358 placement opportunities for students, and a wide range of careers and employability events were provided online. Although we want to see significant further improvements, we were nonetheless pleased to see some modest gains for our graduates in the Graduate Outcome survey published in summer 2021: the overall “positive outcomes” indicator for employment and further study was 91.5%, placing us in joint 90th place in the ranking of 153 HE providers. The subset of graduates securing jobs defined by the Government as graduate-level rose from 62.5% to 63.1%, although that definition remains highly contested. In the June 2021 release of the Longitudinal Education Outcomes dataset, 90.1% of our UK first degree graduates were in sustained employment, further study or both 1 year after graduation; 89.1% 3 years after graduation; and 89.6% 5 years after graduation, ranking us, respectively, joint 50th, 51st, and 16th out of 152 HE providers nationally.
  5. Our second goal is to provide excellent teaching and support for learning for all our students. Driven by the requirements of lockdown, we developed rapidly during the year our use of technology to support learning. For much of the year, all teaching and learning had to be delivered online, and we used the full capability of our virtual learning environment (Moodle) to ensure that timetabled sessions were engaging and varied for students, combining lectures, group discussion, quizzes, a wide range of text and video learning resources, masterclasses and guest speakers. Personal tutor sessions, and wellbeing and counselling sessions, were also held on line. Whenever Government restrictions allowed, we welcomed students back to campus so that they could use our wide range of specialist facilities and equipment. Although it became clear as the year progressed that students found it challenging to have such a high proportion of teaching online, and were keen to revert to face to face teaching as soon as possible, the assessment and examination results indicated that they had nonetheless achieved academically to a level fully comparable with previous years.
  6. Across the University sector, the results of the National Student Survey released in July 2021 showed an 8 percentage point fall in overall satisfaction, reflecting students’ concerns about the impact of lockdown on their learning and their whole experience of University. UOG’s results showed a smaller fall (of 6 percentage points) to 75% overall satisfaction, putting us 70th out of 134 HE providers and 1 percentage point above our benchmark. Two of our academic staff, Dr Colin Forster and Dr Alan Marvell, were awarded the accolade of National Teaching Fellowships by AdvanceHE in summer 2021, and we were also awarded one of only 14 AdvanceHE Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence for our reciprocal mentoring programme for BAME students and senior staff.
  7. Within the research domain, the highlight of the year was the successful submission in March 2021 of our return to the Research Excellence Framework national peer review exercise. We will not get our quality ratings until 2022. But we know that we doubled both the number of research active staff we submitted this time (to 153) and the number of Units of Assessment (to 13 UOAs), compared with the previous REF in 2014. During the year we developed a new Research Strategy and action plan, aiming to build on recent progress to achieve further success over the period to the next REF, assumed to be in 2027. We have appointed new leaders for each of our Research Priority Areas and target Units of Assessment who will front the implementation of the new strategy.
  8. Within our fourth strategic goal, to work with partners for mutual benefit, we focused during the year on strengthening and extending some key academic collaborations, including creating with New College Swindon the new Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology, initiating with our long-standing partner the Fachhochschule des Mittlestands University in Germany a joint Cyber and Digital Innovation institute to promote economic regeneration in North Rhine Westphalia, and winning a contract to partner with the Politechnic Negeri Manado as part of the UK-Government funded Skills for Prosperity programme in Indonesia. Closer to home, the University’s Growth Hub successfully switched our business support services online, and continued to provide much needed advice and support for SMEs struggling with the effects of lockdown, serving 584 business clients during the year. The project to create a new City Campus in the Debenhams building is itself a major opportunity to work with civic and business partners for the regeneration and community advancement of Gloucester.
  9. In terms of our strategic enablers, we are proud that, as these accounts show, despite all the operating turbulence of the pandemic, we have nonetheless achieved a budget surplus of £0.9 million, compared with our original budget forecast of a £(4.5) million deficit. In order to manage future financial risks and control costs, we have instituted a new defined contribution pension scheme in place of the Local Government Pension Scheme for new professional services staff recruited from Autumn 2021. Our HR focus has been on keeping our community safe and supporting staff to work from home, with full risk assessments and opinion surveys to gauge staff perceptions. Towards the end of the operating year, we published a new flexible policy for staff to combine home and office based working in future, learning from the experience of home working during lockdown. As well as the purchase of the Debenhams building, our estates developments this year have focused on creating new specialist spaces to support expansion of our course portfolio in biomedical sciences, architecture and construction, and allied health.

Section 2: Strategic Priorities

The University’s strategic plan for the period 2017-2022 was reviewed and reaffirmed in summer 2019. The plan sets out four strategic goals:

  1. To provide a breadth and richness of experience that enables all our students to reach their full potential
  2. To provide teaching and support for learning of the highest quality
  3. To undertake excellent research and innovative professional practice which enrich students’ learning and create impact and benefit for others
  4. To build partnerships which create opportunity, innovation and mutual benefit for the communities we serve.

We aspire to be a community which values positive human relationships in everything we do – supporting our students to belong, to engage, to thrive and to achieve their full potential; supporting our staff through rewarding jobs and valuing their professional contributions; and supporting the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of people in the diverse communities we serve. The restrictions consequent on the pandemic made it particularly difficult to sustain some aspects of community engagement, creating significant stress, disruption and anxiety for many people. Despite that, staff and students showed real commitment to supporting each other.

2020/21 was the penultimate academic year in delivery of the strategic plan and work commenced in the Spring to develop the next strategic plan for the period 2022-27.

Achievements in 2020/21

The Covid pandemic continued to impact on the operations of the University. Whilst teaching and learning commenced on campus at the start of the academic year in September 2020, the University had to swiftly adjust delivery methods and priorities when the second lockdown started in January 2021, providing teaching, learning, assessment and student services online for most students for the next three months. Despite this change of focus the University made good progress against its strategic goals. Operational plans for the second half of the year focused on delivering teaching and learning online and preparing for the new academic year in September 2021 so as to provide a full student experience through a blended approach to delivery, whilst ensuring financial sustainability and preparing for growth in the academic portfolio.

To provide a breadth and richness of experience that enables all our students to reach their full potential

Student experience and satisfaction

We want each student, during their time at the University, to gain the skills, knowledge, insight and confidence to transform their own lives for the better, well equipped by the time they graduate to go on to successful careers and rewarding lives.

During the academic year, we have taken great care to communicate clearly and in a timely way with our students in responding to the ongoing covid challenges. We have heard back from students that they have appreciated our approach, and believe we have provided them with the best possible opportunities for on-campus face-to-face delivery within the constraints of Government lockdown requirements. As we move into next academic year, we have taken care to reflect on the positives and learning from our experiences. We have developed a new Framework for Blended Learning, recognising that students want on campus experiences, including the wider benefits beyond the teaching itself.

Across the sector, the scores in the NSS have dipped reflecting student dissatisfaction with the impact of lockdown on the experiences and opportunities they were able to have. We believe we have done all we could to mitigate the challenges, and our NSS scores reflect that. Overall satisfaction is above our benchmark and in-line with the sector average, with above sector average results for assessment and feedback, academic support, learning resources, learning community and student voice questions.

Courses with 100% overall satisfaction are:
• BA Early Childhood Studies
• BA English
• BA Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
• BA/BSc Geography
• BSc Animal Biology

A further eight courses achieved satisfaction of 90% or above. This is a tribute to staff who have continued to respond and adapt despite all the challenges of the pandemic.

Student Recruitment

The University had a strong recruitment year as the sector eased out of the demographic dip and the number of 18-year olds entering higher education started to grow. The University’s “Who Cares – We Do” marketing campaign continued to prove successful against sector-wide competition, winning the top HEIST award of the year for a University marketing campaign. 8,879 students registered as active at the University in 2020/21. Including apprenticeships, there were 4,113 new entrants and 4,766 returning students. International and postgraduate student numbers continued to grow compared with the prior year.

The University attracts a wide range of student groups studying at different higher education levels, from foundation degrees to postgraduate research, although undergraduates in the 18-20 age group continue to be our biggest student group.


The University’s Your Future Plan (YFP) programme enables our students to engage in a varied programme of support, guidance and experiences to help them to make key decisions about their graduate careers, and to then develop their skills to enable them to be successful in the graduate labour market. The expectation of the programme is that every student is encouraged to develop their own plan for their graduate career from the outset of their first year of study, in order that they have the maximum opportunity to build their skills throughout their time at University.

Student employability-related data, and graduate outcomes are reported each year through two main publications:

• Graduate Outcomes (GO) – developed by HESA, the GO survey gathers feedback from graduates 15 months after completion. The survey outlines the current employment/study status of the cohort, and identifies if the work is at professional level. The results are released in Spring/Summer of each year.

• Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) – which combines data from the Department for Education, the Department for Work & Pensions, HMRC and HESA to look at employment activity and earnings of graduates from English HE providers 1, 3, 5 and 10 years after graduation.

In addition to GO and LEO, the Office for Students have recently introduced a new metric which has been titled Proceed. The Proceed metric will combine the Graduate Outcomes professional level data with student retention, progression and achievement data to understand how courses perform across the whole student cycle from course starts through to highly skilled employment.

Our latest Graduate Outcomes data that report destinations of the graduating class of 2019 show that 91.5% of the University’s graduates were either in employment or further study (or both) 15 months after graduation. The survey also measured the level of jobs that graduates were undertaking, and the results indicated that 63.1% of our graduates were employed in ‘professional level’ jobs at the time of the survey.

The latest LEO data released in July 2021 shows that the University is in the upper middle quartile of institutions for graduates in sustained employment or further study for both 1 and 3 years after completion, and in the upper quartile 5 years after graduation.

The University has established an Employability & Enterprise Programme Board that is chaired by the Vice Chancellor as a regular forum for colleagues to review progress and share good practice. In order to address some of the challenges presented by the pandemic to the local graduate labour market, the University has developed and rolled out a new post graduate certificate in Leadership, Enterprise and Professional Development. This qualification which was launched in September 2021 looks to help and support graduates that have struggled to secure a professional level role since graduating.

Student Wellbeing

Supporting students with their own personal wellbeing is a key priority for the University. The pandemic greatly increased the challenge for the University in achieving this priority, given the anxiety and distress caused for many students.

As during the latter stages of the previous academic year, students faced a range of issues that were often hugely challenging, including health concerns for themselves and loved ones, anxiety, financial hardship, isolation, and the negative implications of living and studying through periods of lockdown. Support services across the University worked to ensure that students could access help and guidance through a blended approach throughout the different stages of national lockdown and restrictions.

A cross-institutional oversight group has maintained its work ensuring that the Student Wellbeing Strategy 2018-23 delivers against the various objectives contained within its nine themes. Through 2020/21 progress was made with some key developments outlined below:  

To provide teaching and support for learning of the highest quality.

We want each graduate to leave equipped to achieve their potential and ready to pursue their ambitions successfully, for the benefit of society, their families and themselves.

Teaching Excellence 

In 2020/21 we continued to implement our multi-year Learning Design Programme, and factored in the imperative to rapidly advance our blended learning environment and skills.  All of our prior work to strengthen course design, to build a virtual environment for learning that reflects the academic needs of the students on the course, and to upskill staff to take advantage of the new environment, has paid off in terms of the student experience. It meant we have been able to support their learning effectively at a distance when in lockdowns or individual self-isolation.

The University developed a new Framework for Blended Learning that recognises that, while most teaching will be on campus during 2021/22, there are some elements of our online approach that we wish to retain where it improves the experience and learning for our students.  We are scheduling on-campus, face to face teaching and learning for the vast majority (95%) of the contact time, reflecting the overwhelming feedback from students about their preference to be on campus.  There are many examples where online can work well, and every course has considered how to integrate that into their scheduled contact time.  One example is that students prefer to meet online with Personal Tutors, and that is likely to boost engagement with that important element of our arrangements for academic advice and guidance. 

Student satisfaction with assessment remains well above sector benchmarks, and has remained so over several years, reflecting the outcomes of our review of assessment programme.  We know how important assessment is for student learning, and we will continue to refine and adapt our approaches to reflect our Framework for Blended Learning. In 2020/21 the University swiftly implemented technology to enable online exams. This has proven to be an excellent environment for exams, and this will become our standard method for administering examinations. 

Learning spaces

We continue to place face-to-face engagement and human relationships at the heart of effective learning, creating digitally rich on campus environments to support the work in each subject community. We are continuing to invest in excellent subject specific social learning spaces, high quality spaces for teaching, and access to specialist resources to complement the enhanced virtual learning environment. By the start of the 2021-22 year we will have completed the development of the new spaces for allied health professions, biomedical sciences, and Architecture, Construction and the Environment. We now have lecture capture and supporting audio and visual technology in all of our main teaching spaces.  We are also trialling new more advanced classrooms for synchronous delivery remotely, working in partnership with JISC.

Academic strategy

The implementation of the Academic Strategy for 2017- 2022 continued, with a focus on excellent teaching, learning environment and support for students.  In recognition of our sustained focus on excellent teaching and teachers, we are proud to add two further new national teaching fellows to the number of our staff who have been recognised as National Teaching Fellows over the years.  In addition we are also celebrating a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) for our work in the area of equality and diversity, and specifically our well established and recognised reciprocal mentoring scheme

Such awards and accolades are built on a sustained programme to award University Teaching Fellowships, plus the high proportions of Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (62%) and academic staff who have teaching qualifications (73%) placing us ahead of the sector average.  The results of our multi-year programmes of work to develop assessment practice and technology enhanced learning have enhanced critical areas that profoundly shape the experience of students and their learning opportunities. 

Our Learning Design programme is continuing to support tutors in making best use of the new digital environment and opportunities.  We have also reviewed and revised our academic staff workload allocation model (WAM), working in close partnership with the UCU representatives, to provide more time for the most important aspects of teaching, assessment, and support for students.  This development has been well received, particularly at a time when colleagues are attempting to rapidly learn new skills in order to optimise the students experience in an increasingly digitally rich environment.

We delivered the University Festival of Learning online again in June 2021 with a continued focus on the challenges and successes of blended learning, and an opportunity to celebrate and reflect upon learning and teaching at the University of Gloucestershire.  

Portfolio development

The University continues to develop its course portfolio.  We support professional and occupational development with new Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, where students gain a degree qualification while studying alongside their work commitments.  Five new higher and degree apprenticeship were launched in the 2020/21 academic year, including project management, digital marketing, and social work.  Further apprenticeship courses are in development for 2021/22, with new courses launching in accountancy, data science, and healthcare science.

The University again increased the postgraduate taught offer in 2020/21 and continued to focus portfolio development in STEM and practical courses focussed on developing the skills sought by local and national employers. Our Arts school launched new courses in architecture and urban planning in September 2021, and new courses in biomedical sciences will be commencing in the School of Natural Social Sciences from the same date. The Business School carried out an in depth review of curriculum during the year and we launched a newly designed Global MBA.

School strategy discussions in the Spring focussed on delivering the University’s growth ambitions and 2020/21 saw the successful initiation of School Enhancement meetings allowing for subject level discussions on quality, improvement and enhancement, and also risk-based discussion of individual courses.

To undertake excellent research and innovative professional practice which enrich students’ learning and create impact and benefit for others

Our research has been successfully submitted to the national Research Excellence Framework exercise in March 2021 (REF2021).  This was a tremendous achievement set against the challenge of concurrently trying to mitigate the impacts of COVID on our community.  Our submission reflects the applied nature of our research, with 26 illustrations through our Impact Case Studies

Following the finalisation of our 2021 REF submission we developed a new Research Strategy, building on the good progress in implementing our Academic Strategy. We are at a stage of our evolution in research, with 13 submitted Units to the REF, and 30% of our academic staff submitted, where a separate Research Strategy was needed. This has allowed us to continue the momentum up to the REF 2021 submission, re-scoping our target Research Priority Areas (RPAs), and appointing new research leaders at RPA and Unit of Assessment (UoA) level. We are exploring the potential for a further five UoAs for submission to the next national REF exercise, including one or more in our growing Health portfolio area.

Our six new Research Priority Areas are aligned to our subject portfolio to enable all those academic staff capable and wishing to undertake high quality research to do so’ We secured external funding for our research programmes totalling £2.03m, and improved the spread of how that funding is distributed across our Schools. Over the whole REF period from 2014 to 2021, we have seen a sustained increase in competitively won funding for our research, and we aim to build further on this as we move into the next cycle.

Our leadership for research is continuing to improve, with an increasing number of colleagues progressing through our new Academic Career Pathways, and gaining appointments as Professors and Associate Professors. This includes some of our new subject areas and areas with less existing research capacity. Our Early Career Research Network has now matured to the point that we have representation on all RPA steering groups, and also at Research Committee. We continue to benefit from the leadership of our Women’s Professors Group who are active in supporting and mentoring colleagues and hosting events of particular benefit to early career females. We continue to attend to gaps in terms of senior researcher representation.

The total number of PhD and other doctoral level completions across the REF2021 cycle has increased significantly from the last REF (153 completions compared to 56 in 2014) reflecting our maturing environment and the greater range of subjects developing high quality research. It was particularly pleasing to see Business entered into this REF, contributing a significant proportion of research degree completions, reflecting the strong reputation of our level 8 business programmes across the world. Our Research Degrees Strategy and Plan has been revised significantly, and we have appointed a new Head of Research Innovation to further grow our PGR student numbers, and to improve the proportion of our students that complete their studies.

To build partnerships which create opportunity, innovation and mutual benefit for the communities we serve.

As a University, we work with partners to transform the wellbeing and prosperity of our community.

Community support

Through 2020/21 the University continued to engage with its local communities primarily through its four ‘Community Liaison Groups’. Each group met 3-4 times across the academic year, enabling representatives from residents’ associations and elected councillors to meet with colleagues from the University and the SU, along with representatives from the local police constabulary and local council environmental health teams.

This engagement enables the University to share information and hear a range of issues from residents about the impact of the University in their neighbourhoods, and then seek to work in partnership to find solutions to any concerns. As in previous years, the representatives from each of the groups have shared that they find the meetings supportive, open and valuable. The existence of the liaison groups mean that members form effective relationships, and so get in touch with key University staff when issues develop in between meetings. This often leads to the speedy and effective resolution of problems.

The University has initiated a community liaison group to consider the new City Campus, with representation from the City and County council, local NHS trusts and schools. The development in Gloucester has been warmly welcomed and supported by the local community.

Other major areas of partnership development during the year include:

• Working with NHS partners in response to the pandemic. The University supported our nursing and allied health students to join the NHS frontline in supporting those affected by the virus; we provided equipment and PPE; we made our student accommodation available for use by NHS staff; and we kept our campuses open for the local community to take exercise.

• We continue to develop our portfolio of courses to meet the needs of local employers, including the major public services of education, police and social work as well as health.

• We have strengthened our links with key Further Education College partners, notably South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, Bath College and Yeovil College, and we have helped to create with New College Swindon the new Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology.

• We have sustained through lockdown our partnerships with overseas partners in Germany, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Support for businesses

The University continues to build on its track record of working with business, providing a single front door for business support and a key agent of economic development in the county. The University benefits from numerous links to business organisations, and substantial investment and support through the Growth Hub which is co-located in the Gloucestershire Business School at Oxstalls.

The Growth Hub, and its expanded network within the county, have now delivered support, advice and guidance to more than 10,000 businesses of which 42% have high growth potential. This, together with the work delivered by ESIF funded projects to support innovation, enterprise and new start-ups, represents a significant resource for the region. A recent BiGGAR report stated that the Gloucester Growth Hub has supported Gloucestershire businesses to create an estimated 560 jobs and £107 million GVA, since 2017. A survey of clients by BiGGAR, revealed that 86% were satisfied, or very satisfied, with their Growth Hub experience and 95% felt that the Hub simplifies the provision of business support services.

In 2020/21, working with Gfirst LEP, the Growth Hub was instrumental in collating and reporting business impacts of Covid and emerging trends towards recovery. Over the period the Growth Hub was responsible for the allocation of nearly £0.5 million of Government support to local businesses. We continue to work closely with the Gfirst LEP in support of the Gloucestershire Economic Recovery, through the Growth Hub activity and in working to develop new skills and provide placement students and graduates to meet emerging business needs.

In 2020 the Gloucestershire Business School launched a student-led consultancy, ThreeSixty. This initiative has been designed in consultation with the Gloucester Growth Hub and brings together students from accounting and finance, law, business management, leadership, marketing, events management, hospitality and sports to offer a young, dynamic and ambitious consultancy service. In 2020/21 the Gloucester Business School applied for the Small Business Charter Award, and has been awarded this important accreditation for three years.

Enablers of the Strategic Plan:

People and culture

2020/21 was dominated by the COVID pandemic, and through engagement with our Health and Safety Committee, Covid working group, staff and trade unions, our focus in relation to our staff has continued to be their safety, health and wellbeing. Despite the challenging environment, the university recruited and onboarded 171 new employees in 2020/2021, the majority of which was done in a virtual environment. Staff completing our onboarding survey indicated a 95% favourable score for their recruitment and onboarding experience. As the pandemic has evolved, we have benefited from the lessons we have learnt in understanding and demonstrating new ways of working, the result of which has been the introduction of an agile working framework to support future campus and remote working.
We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in all our activities but we acknowledge that there is more to do. This year in addition to re-energising the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and our equality action plan, we have set up sub groups to support the delivery of those objectives and created further opportunities for staff to actively engage. Alongside our existing Black, Asian, and, Minority Ethnic plus Network and Women’s Network , 2020 saw the establishment of our Pride Staff Network that is working to educate the wider University community on challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community. We have commenced development of our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and in 2021 our Reciprocal Mentoring Programme was shortlisted in the Times Higher Education Awards for “Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion” and won a “Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence” from AdvanceHE.

New academic career pathways which support the retention and motivation of our academic staff have been developed by the University. Since implementation 14 staff have applied for the titles of Professor and Associate Professor and a further six members of staff have been promoted or are new to the University.

One of the key actions from our 2020 staff engagement results involved a further survey to understand academic staff perceptions and views on the workload allocation model in place. Following engagement with trade unions and staff we have implemented a new Workload Allocation Model which will enable us to better support the workload of our academic staff.

The University has established a subsidiary company – University of Gloucestershire Professional Services Limited – for the future employment of professional services staff. This is part of a long-term strategy to reduce the University’s financial exposure to future pension liabilities.

With regard to our support for our trade unions, in 2020/21 there were 10 members of staff fulfilling paid trade union duties. The annual report on trade union facility time is published on the University website.


The University published a new Finance Strategy in 2018/19 for the period 2019 to 2022. The Finance Strategy supports the delivery of the University’s Strategic, Operational and Departmental Business Plans. The Strategy is designed to ensure the continued financial security of the University, identify and fully exploit profitable income lines with growth potential, and to maintain cash generation at a level to sustain the institution.

Our financial results for the year are reviewed in Section 3.

IT and Estates

The University continues to invest in the development and maintenance of the Estate. In 2020/21 the refurbishment of the Teaching Centre at Francis Close Hall for the new Architecture, Construction and the Environment subject community, and development of a new biomedical sciences laboratory for the School of Natural and Social Sciences was completed. At the Oxstalls campus, development work was completed to add valuable additional teaching and learning space to support the continued growth in Nursing and Allied Health by adding a mezzanine to an existing sports hall.

The Estates department priority during the year was to maintain a safe environment for our students and staff during the pandemic. Over the summer months, the team has undertaken work to prepare buildings in readiness for the start of the new year in Autumn 2021 and return to campus for staff and students. In terms of maintenance, routine cyclical repairs have also been undertaken which has maintained building condition assessment grades across the University Estate. A successful grant application to Salix resulted in a £1.2million award that will allow the team to replace dated mechanical and electrical infrastructure across a number of buildings, which in turn will help reduce energy costs and reduce carbon consumption. Transport strategies were reviewed through the period, resulting in a significantly reduced tariff for the bus travel permit.

The most significant development for the University in 2020/21 was the purchase of the Debenhams building in Gloucester. Design work is underway with refurbishment works due to commence in the coming year in readiness for a September 2023 opening of the first phase. The Cornerways villa in Cheltenham was sold during the period and the lease for the Delta property was assigned.

The transition to a blended delivery during the Covid pandemic was made possible through the University’s prior investment in technology to enhance learning, ensuring a continuing positive experience for students as teaching and learning moved online. The University’s virtual learning environment responded well to the increased pressure and the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment continued to be enhanced during the year. Librarians worked with academic colleagues compiling accessible, high quality, online learning resources for every course and increased use of the Talis library resource tool which students have embraced. New collaboration tools such as Elevate are in the process of being implemented and as in prior years the University continued to upgrade computer and AV equipment. The University also converted a traditional teaching space into a new Virtual Classroom. The University continued to achieve satisfaction rates above the sector average for learning resources as reported in the National Student Survey.
In 2020/21 placement students had the opportunity to join the IT department to work on the development of new systems and databases that will significantly aid the University technology infrastructure.


The University is committed to being an academic community with a global outlook, recognising that our stakeholders are best served by an internationally engaged institution which furthers opportunities for intercultural learning, teaching and research.

The restrictions imposed by the global pandemic provided an opportunity to consider how we can best align our desire to enhance our students’ global awareness with a recognition of the impact of travel on the environment, this meshed with our focus on sustainability education, which brings a global perspective to the design and development of our course portfolio as well as informal learning opportunities for students.

The University continued to nurture and grow international partnerships, including making better use of technology and the digital environment. We are seeing a significant increase in applications from international students, and entered into a productive partnership with GUS to increase student recruitment in India.


In 2020 the University exceeded the targets of its Carbon Strategy 2010-2020, having recorded a 47% reduction in carbon emissions between 2005 and 2019, for Scope 1 and 2 emissions categories. An ambitious new Carbon Strategy to target ‘Net Zero’ emissions by 2030 has now been developed, to increase the scale of our action on accelerating climate change, to continue driving down energy-related emissions and target the wider indirect emissions arising in our supply chain and commuting.

The University’s green campuses offered open space for local people to support their wellbeing during the pandemic. The urban greening and biodiversity improvement project completed at Oxstalls campus, received a ‘nature based solutions’ award from the Countryside Charity in 2020.

The Learning Innovation for Tomorrow programme (LIFT) supported academic innovation projects to introduce sustainability education into our course portfolio and share this new learning with our surrounding community. Major academic achievements in sustainability include winning Green Gown Awards for Research with Impact, and Learning and Skills. The University was an invited member of the UK expert group that released a revised version of the national guidelines on Education for Sustainable Development in March 2021. The guidelines were commissioned by the Quality Assurance Agency and Advance HE, for use in all future HE courses.

Environmental Reporting

The University is committed to improving our energy efficiency, continually looking at reducing energy use and its corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions. Environmental performance targets are reviewed on a regular basis and have now been agreed with the executive team for 2021 – 2030. These targets are incorporated with our Net Zero Carbon Strategy 2030.

As required by the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013 (‘the 2013 Regulations’) and the Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018 (‘the 2018 Regulations’) the University reports on the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR), results

Natural Gas consumption for on site operations (heating, catering, etc) – Scope 1 KWh7,901,5415,725,230
Fuel used for site vehicle activity – Scope 1 KWh36,21040,735
Total CO2 emissions for Scope 1 activities (fuels used on site for organisational activity) Tonnes1,6081,063
Electricity supplied from off site generation for consumption by on site operations (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, lighting, computers, etc) – Scope 2 KWh4,216,2463,389,196
Total CO2 emissions for Scope 2 activities (energy generated off site and used on site for organisational activity) Tonnes895790
Total Scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions Tonnes2,5031,853
Emissions from business travel in rental cars or employee -owned vehicles where company is responsible for purchasing the fuel (Scope 3) Tonnes3122
Total CO2 emissions attributed to activity of business (Scope 1, 2 & 3) Tonnes2,5061,976
Carbon emissions target set by business – 40% reduction in Scope 1 &2 CO2 emissions by 2020 compared to 2005/6 emissions52%62%
Intensity Ratio – Tonnes CO2 emitted per 1000m2 Gross Internal Area25.822.2

The reported data above was collected and analysed using a method based on the Green House Gas Reporting Protocol – Corporate Standard.

During 2020 the University considered a new Power Purchase Agreement for electricity supplied from windfarms but took the decision to wait until March 2022 as the current pricing was not beneficial. The pandemic continued to impact our capacity to deliver energy efficiency projects (reduced resources due to lockdowns and other priorities) and also our gas consumption (increases due to increased ventilation requirements). We also experienced an increase in electricity metrics in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20 due to the campus closure in the prior year as a result of Covid. The University actively looks to reduce its annual energy consumption, and a number of projects are planned for the coming year including the replacement of 6 gas boilers with air source heat pumps using a £1.2M grant from Salix under the PSDS2 scheme.

More broadly in relation to sustainability, the University published an annual report detailing our goals, actions and achievements in relation to the promotion of sustainability across all our activities. The report is available at

Section 3: 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 below show an improvement within cash generation and liquidity on last year.

Key financial highlights

Review of the year

Operating performance

The University reports a consolidated operating surplus for the year of £0.9m (2020:£(1.5)m). The reported surplus is after accounting for the FRS102 LGPS & USS (non-cash) pension costs of £5.2m and the adverse Covid related impacts which includes £1m student residencies refunds in addition to increased IT and estates costs. Despite the very difficult market conditions and adverse financial impacts of Covid the University has achieved a strong operating performance with cash generation, liquidity and covenant compliance continuing to be our primary focus; all of which have remained strong throughout the year. The cash generated within the year has enabled the University to purchase a new 20,000sqm building, formerly occupied by Debenhams, supporting the University 10 year Growth Ambition Plan.

The University’s strategy to extend the portfolio of courses on offer achieved a 21% increase in new student enrolments during 2020/21 increasing tuition fee income for the year.

Pay and non-pay costs in 2020/21 are largely in line with prior years even after accounting for the £5.2m FRS102 pension costs, evidencing the University’s ability to manage its finances in an agile manner.

During 2018/19 both INTO University Partnerships and the University undertook a joint strategic review of the jointly controlled entity, that was established to run international foundation programmes. As an outcome of the review the Board agreed to change the focus of the partnership reflecting the University’s expertise in programme validation and concentrating on areas of emerging global demand. From September 2019, all on-campus preparation programmes ceased at the University’s campus in Cheltenham. The long-term partnership will, however, continue. INTO will provide recruitment support for Direct Entry students and the University, in turn, will continue to validate Foundation and International Year One programmes at INTO’s World Education Centre in London, as they do today. As a result of this change of focus, the activities and business of INTO University of Gloucestershire ceased in September 2019.

All costs associated with ceasing these activities were provided for in the 2018/19 university and group accounts with minor adjustments being provided for in 2019/20. All winding up costs were formally written off, against the prior year provisions, during 2020/21. All legal and statutory duties relating to the cessation of the jointly controlled entity were finalised during 2020/21 with an application to voluntarily strike off the company being submitted on 30 July 2021.

Capital investment

Capital investment in the year has continued to deliver additional and upgraded space and facilities for new and expanding courses, particularly Bio medical sciences, ACE and Health. Capital expenditure has also been incurred to ensure all facilities remain covid secure. A new 20,000sqm building, formerly occupied by Debenhams was also purchased for £2.65m plus VAT and supports the University 10 year Ambition growth plan. IT continues to support the business maintaining the core systems and infrastructure in addition to delivering significant projects to support and improve the student experience.

Long term debt (secured loans)

At the year end, our long-term borrowings (secured loans) were £25.4m. During 2019/20 both RBS and HSBC provided a 7-month capital repayment holiday providing a £3.2m cash saving split across both 2019/20 (£1.4m) and 2020/21 (£1.8m). No changes were made to the term of the loans, HSBC expires in March 2023 and RBS in October 2026. The gearing ratio (including Service Concession) has decreased to 36.7% (2020: 41%) sitting comfortably below the target of 45% set out in the Finance Strategy.

Both the net debt to total income and minimum net assets bank covenants are reported as compliant.

Liquidity and treasury management

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 £6m.  At the balance sheet date £26.1m was placed on deposit with a number of banks; average monthly balances held by deposit takers over the year were £28.0m (2020: £19.5m).

The year-end liquidity position has continued to exceed the target of 75 days set out in the Finance Strategy and at the year-end liquidity levels stood at 138 days (2020: 126 days).

Pensions and pension liability

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 2021 has increased to £70.0m (2020: £63.4m; 2019: £41.0m).  The increase in the liability this year is due to the change in financial and demographic assumptions resulting in the present value of the expected future liabilities being greater than the growth of the asset returns. 2020/21 reported lower employer contributions of £3.554m (2020: £4.150m) as a result of lower past service costs.

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: £431k (2020: £418k), CEFPS: £4k (2020: £6k).

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 schemeCurrent Contribution  rate2020/21 £0002019/20 £000
LGPS22.10% plus £155k pa3,5544,150
Others including Church of England Scheme39.9% (CEFPS)1010
Total 7,8658,085

During 2020/21 a new Defined Contribution Pension Scheme was set up with Legal & General and has been awarded the PQM Plus accreditation. From 2021/22 all professional services staff, with the exception of those with continuous pensionable LGPS service will be recruited through the newly incorporated subsidiary company, University of Gloucestershire Professional Services Limited (UOGPSL) and will be eligible to join the scheme.

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.

This is the third year of the 2019-2022 finance strategy which has been designed to ensure the long term financial viability of the university, focusing on delivering an integrated approach linking academic, financial and business planning issues, enabling investment and development of a successful and financially sustainable academic institution with a sound financial base that is properly resourced to enable the University to pursue strategic opportunities.

COVID has adversely impacted the financial results of the University for the last two years, greater emphasis has therefore been placed on the cash generation metric and minimum cash balances during the recovery period whilst managing the financial sustainability.

The key performance indicators agreed within the Strategy 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 key objectives of the 2019-2022 Finance Strategy are to:

• ensure the continued financial security of the University;
• identify and fully exploit profitable income lines with growth potential;
• maintain cash generation at a level to sustain the business;

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

Key financial indicator  Performance 2020-21Finance strategy target 2019 to 2022
Operating surplus  1.1%2.1% of turnover
EBITDA as a % of total income9.6%7.6% of turnover
Cash generation from operating activities12.8%10% of turnover
Pay as a % of income58.8%Not to exceed 55% of income
Year-end liquidity ratio138 days75 days
Gearing – External borrowings (all borrowings and service concessions)36.7%not to exceed 45% of turnover
Investment in capital and maintenance  –
capital (estates, equipment and IT)  –
Investment as a % of income:  
recurrent maintenance 1.9% 1.8%
Diversification of the income base6.5%Growth of 5% per annum in non-regulated fees and grant income

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 92.1% (2020: 94.7%) of the 7,083 invoices received within 30 days of them being determined as valid and undisputed. The average (median) payment time for invoices was 21.1 days (2020:17.7 days).  The University did not receive or make any payments in respect of the late payment of invoices.

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.

Accounting systems

The University continues with the development of the Agresso accounting software and related systems by undertaking regular system upgrades

Post balance sheet events

As set out in Note 31 in respect of the USS pension scheme, a new Schedule of Contributions based on the 2020 actuarial valuation has been agreed and came into effect from 1 October 2021. The Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) has recommended benefit changes and these are subject to a member consultation which is due to conclude in February 2022. If the benefit changes are approved it would lead to an increase of £875k in the provision for the Obligation to fund the deficit on the USS pension which would instead be £1.306m.  Should the benefit changes not be approved the provision will increase by £1.606m to £2.037m. The corresponding adjustment will be reflected in the University’s Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2022.

Section 4: Future plans and risks

The threat of COVID-19 remains a prominent feature at the start of the 2021/22 academic year, though the impacts on teaching delivery and enjoyment of a normal student experience have receded significantly from a year ago. Our business as usual planning now incorporates adaptations to methods of delivery and our usage of premises from both a staff and student perspective.

The COVID Programme Board continues to meet, though less frequently than a year ago, and is ready to react swiftly to any new Government regulations or local situation. We continue to work closely with local Health representatives and are guided by relevant sector representative groups.

Student recruitment remains the most significant activity facing the University. The ten year Ambition Plan establishes both a need and a trajectory for annual growth in enrolments. Successful delivery of this growth ambition will enable the University to enhance its presence and reputation and will improve its financial sustainability. Competitive market pressures experienced during summer 2021 are expected to continue as all Universities seek to grow to compensate for the continued regulated fee cap freeze and turbulence in international student recruitment, though the growth in numbers of UK school leavers will offer some counter pressure.

The portfolio of academic provision is under regular review to ensure it remains current and competitive. Alongside these reviews, the prominence of our Higher Apprenticeship offer continues to increase in significance with a considerable increase in learner numbers and income in 2021/22. A further development of our short course offer is underway, as we anticipate changes in the way learners of the future wish to participate in learning.

The Growth Ambition Plan is a key driver for the City Campus development, at the former Debenhams building in Gloucester. The existing University estate is almost at full capacity and growth in certain subject areas is not possible without extensive additional space over the coming years. This is a really exciting development for the University and the city Centre location will enable the University to forge new relationships with community and cultural organisations in the City. The new premises lend themselves well to a flexible phased development plan, whereby space demand, cost and affordability can drive the pace at which the project proceeds.

The year ahead will see plans for the initial development phase for the City Campus being finalised, with associated financing being put in place, through a combination of our own cash reserves, grants and external borrowings. On 27 October, Parliament announced that they will support the development through its Levelling Up Fund, of which the University is pleased to have secured £9.7m towards this development.

The sector faces an inimical situation in relation to industrial relations as Unions react against current and future pay and pension arrangements. National or Local industrial action is being considered by both UCU and Unison and could generate some disruption to service delivery during the 2021/22 academic year. The University works hard to maintain good relationships with local and regional Union representatives. 

Section 5: 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, for example in Malawi where the University has led a sport-based project for several years.    

 The University also supports access to arts, musical and other cultural events. This includes long standing support for the Cheltenham Science Festival, Jazz Festival, Literature Festival – a partnership which enables students to access placement and work experience opportunities, as well as to attend in person and online events for free or at a discounted cost. While the Covid pandemic limited opportunities in 2020/21, students from widening participation areas and partner schools and colleges have, in the past, attended headline events sponsored by the University. In addition to this, the University is a sponsor of the Gloucester History Festival and the Cheltenham Design Festival, and is an active contributor to the Gloucester Culture Trust, leading the Trust’s programme of cultural entrepreneurship. The University sponsored the Rooftop Festival in Gloucester in July 2021, a unique multi-arts event held on the roof of a car park with a live programme of events delivered by local communities and many local artists, including some students, targeted at young people. Admission was on a ‘pay what you like’ basis with the aim of making this cultural event accessible to everyone. University students also provided pre-event marketing support, performed event management, performance and technician roles at the event, and captured footage to create a Rooftop 2021 film.    

 Education at the University of Gloucestershire reaches far beyond the classroom.  Our Strategic Plan emphasises our commitment to the development of graduates who are engaged, enquiring, empowered, empathetic and ethical. We pride ourselves on being an academic community that is student-centred, learning-led and research-informed.  

Of the 8,879 students registered at the University in 2020/21 23% identified themselves as having a disability, 14% identified themselves as part of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community resident in the UK and 10.6% were from countries other than the UK.  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 in 2021/22 continued to be impacted by the Covid pandemic and further lockdowns. Despite this the Outreach Team undertook 267 activities with students in schools and colleges, ranging from secondary school to college students and 42 additional events with their influencers. 11,285 students engaged in outreach activities over the year.  Activities took place on and off campus, and included blended delivery, with online outreach activities delivered through predominantly live-stream webinars and, when possible, face-face outreach.

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 Bath 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 2020/21 the University provided around £3.1m 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 college, whilst fee discounts are provided to alumni who wish to progress to postgraduate study.  Examples include the Accommodation Waiver of up to £1000 for students from low income backgrounds living in University managed Halls, and a 50% fee waiver along with up to £2,000 depending on the level per year for care leavers. The University also offers an Academic Merit Scholarship for full time students achieving a high level of entry qualifications, worth £1,200 across the three years of a typical undergraduate programme.

In 2020/21 the University awarded hardship funds totalling £738k to 1,305 students, including £520k additional funding made available through the Office for Students.

Section 6: Senior staff remuneration



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.  

Throughout this report ‘senior staff’ is understood to mean the University Executive Committee (UEC), as defined in section 6.6. 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’ (June 2018), including the supporting documents referred to by this Code, in its approach to senior staff remuneration.  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 2013) 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 ‘Regulatory advice 14: Guidance for providers for the Annual Financial Return 2021’. 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.     

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 himself is not a member of RHRC, and plays no role whatsoever in establishing his 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, February 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.  The full Terms of Reference and Membership for RHRC (as with all Council sub-commitees) may be found on-line:  

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 a pay review report which benchmarks the pay of Executive Group staff against sector norms. The last such report was commissioned by RHRC during 2017/18. This report was produced by Korn Ferry Hay Group and provided information and comment on the competitiveness of remuneration for the Vice-Chancellor and the rest of the Executive group, taking account of market movements and changes in roles.  It updated a previous benchmarking report, also produced by Hay Group, in 2016.  This report adopted an approach to considering remuneration that included, inter alia, economic factors, competition, market rates, roles, and skills required of post holders.  The comparison of market rates was based on four sources: 

RHRC had planned to commission a pay review in 2019/20, but the situation at the time included the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the national decision through JNCHES not to make any pay award for 2020/21. The Review was therefore not commissioned. RHRC agreed to consider when to conduct the next Review at its meeting in October 2021.

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 increased each year in accordance with the nationally determined pay award.  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).

Council has also agreed a policy for a salary supplement in lieu of pension contributions for staff who exceed the Lifetime Allowance. This scheme avoids potentially unlawful inducements, recognises a specific issue for a defined group of staff, is open and transparent, and is in line with practice in the higher education sector. 

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 2020/21 the Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, received total remuneration of £189,816, comprising salary of £169,478 and payment in lieu of pension of £20,337. The Vice-Chancellor received no employer contributions towards pension, having opted to terminate his active membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme. As a consequence, the Vice-Chancellor’s total remuneration in 2020/21 was less than his total remuneration in 2019/20 of £196,679. No pay award was given for 2020/21 for the Vice Chancellor, alongside a pay freeze for all staff through the JNCHES National pay bargaining. The salary for the Vice Chancellor remains substantially below average remuneration of Vice-Chancellors across the sector.

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 his 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 is confident that the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration package is appropriate.    

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 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.  

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 2020/21 between the total pay of the Vice-Chancellor (£189,816) and the median full-time equivalent earnings of the whole University workforce (£40,343) was 4.71 compared to a UK average of 7.0. In 2019/20 the ratio was 4.74.

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 2020/21 (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. 

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, available at: : 


The University has a single published scheme for expenses that applies to all staff. 

University Staff Expenses Policy:  RHRC receives an annual assurance that the scheme is operating effectively.  

Section 7: Corporate governance


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.   

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, meetings of Council and its subcommittees moved on-line. The annual strategic day was held in person in June 2021. The formally constituted committees of Council are: Audit and Risk Committee (renamed during the year from Audit Committee), Finance and General Purposes Committee, Governance and Nominations Committee, Remuneration and Human Resources Committee and the Council, Foundation, and Chaplaincy Committee (renamed during the year from Council and Foundation Standing Group).  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’s web-site: 

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 external auditors without officers of the University present. 

The Finance and General Purposes Committee (FGPC) 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 Section 6.2. 

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. A new 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. It is also innovative in use of the Board Apprentice scheme to develop future Board talent.’ The report also made recommendations and suggestions for further improvement in governance practice. These were accepted by Council and an action plan agreed to ensure their implementation.     

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, and other relevant accounting standards.  In addition, to 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 and Risk Committee, to: 

Disclosure of information to Auditor  

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

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 2021 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 for 2017-22 and reflects the importance of the four institutional goals in the 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.  These reports on risk coincide with reports on the University’s operating plan.  The University’s approach to risk management is considered annually by the internal auditors. 

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 annual Operating Plan. Regular updates on performance are presented to Council during the year, with a full year-end report considered in November. The Operating Plan for the following year is approved 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. 

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

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 2021. 

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. 

Woman in black dress pointing out something on a piece of paper to woman in white top

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 2019-2022 and a Strategic Plan for 2017-2022 with reviews being performed mid-term to ensure the goals are still valid and achievable.  Additional information on these, along with consideration of the specific risks the university are managing can be found within Section 4 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 all staff briefings and regular newsletters. We have also set up a Women’s network and BAME 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. Further details can be found within the ‘People and Culture’ segment of Section 2 of our Operating and Financial Review. 

Business relationships:  Students

Students are the key to everything we do. Our current strategic plan for the period 2017-2022 focuses several of its goals on students and the service/support that they need.  In particular, two of the University’s strategic goals are to provide a breadth and richness of experience that enables all our students to reach their full potential, and to provide teaching and support for learning of the highest quality.

We have provided updates on the work that has been undertaken during the year to achieve these goals within the ‘Strategic Goals’ segment of Section 1 and within Section 2 of our Operating and Financial Review. 


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 Section 2 of 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. Further details on this can be found within Section 2 of our Operating and Financial Review.

The University remains positioned as the number 1 UK university for sustainability in the league table published by People and Planet in 2019. In 2020 the University also achieved re-certification of its Environmental Management System, which is accredited to the ISO 14001: 2015 Standard, externally audited by British Standards Institute. Further details on the approach to sustainability that the University takes can be found within the ‘Enablers of the strategic plan’ segment of Section 2 of our Operating and Financial Review. 

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 7 ‘Corporate Governance’ of our Operating and Financial Review. 

The Operating and Financial Review and the S172 Statement of Council Members set out here was approved by the Council of the University of Gloucestershire on 25 November 2021, and was signed on its behalf by: 

Nicola de longh
Chair of Council

Stephen Marston

Independent auditor’s report to the Governing Body of The University of Gloucestershire


We have audited the financial statements of The University of Gloucestershire(the ‘parent university’) and its subsidiaries (the ‘group’) for the year ended 31 July 2021, which The Statement of Principal Accounting Policies, The consolidated and University Statement of Income and Expenditure, The Consolidated and University Statement of Changes in Reserves, the Consolidated and University Balance Sheet, The Consolidated and University Cash Flow Statement 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 and 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 Brexit and Covid-19, 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.

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.

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.

The responsibilities of the Council with respect to going concern are described in the ‘Responsibilities of the Council for the financial statements’ section of this report.

Students in lab

Other information

The Council are responsible for the other information. The other information comprises the information included in the annual report, other than the financial statements and our auditor’s report thereon. 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.

In connection with our audit of the financial statements, 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 or a material misstatement of the other information. 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.

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 its 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 members’ report.

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

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 where 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 (issued October 2019) requires us to report to you where:

Responsibilities of Council for the financial statements

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 intend to liquidate the group or parent university or to cease operations, or have no realistic alternative but to do so.

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.

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.

Irregularities, including fraud, are instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations. We design procedures in line with our responsibilities, outlined above, to detect material misstatements in respect of irregularities, including fraud. Owing to the inherent limitations of an audit, there is an unavoidable risk that material misstatements in the financial statements may not be detected, even though the audit is properly planned and performed in accordance with the ISAs (UK).

The extent to which our procedures are capable of detecting irregularities, including fraud, is detailed below:

We obtained an understanding of the legal and regulatory frameworks that are applicable to the group and parent university, and the sector in which it operates. We determined that the following laws and regulations were most significant;

The engagement team remained alert to any indications of fraud and non-compliance with laws and regulations throughout the audit;

  1. The group and parent university’s operations, including the nature of its sources of income, expected financial statement disclosures and risks that may result in risk of material misstatement; and
  1. The group and parent university’s control environment including the adequacy of procedures for authorisation of transactions

  1. Evaluating the processes and controls established to address the risks related to irregularities and fraud;
  2. Testing manual journal entries, in particular journal entries relating to management estimates and entries determined to be large or relating to unusual transactions;
  3. Challenging assumptions and judgements made by management in its significant accounting estimates;
  4. Identifying and testing related party transactions; and
  5. Completion of audit procedures to conclude on the compliance of disclosures in the financial statements with applicable financial reporting requirements.

From the procedures performed we did not identify any material matters relating to non-compliance with laws and regulations or matters in relation to fraud.

Use of our report

This report is made solely to the university’s members, 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
Senior Statutory Auditor
for and on behalf of Grant Thornton UK LLP
Statutory Auditor, Chartered Accountants
30 November 2021

Financial statements for the year ended 31 July 2021

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.


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 debt and the nature of the amount due.

3. Going concern

The Council approved a budget for the year to 31 July 2022 at its June 2021 meeting and considered this alongside a 10 year Affordability Model relating to the new City Campus development. Having secured a better understanding of the recruitment and enrolments position for Autumn 2021, a revised budget was then presented to F&GP and Council in the early Autumn of 2021, reflecting improved opening balances, a shortfall against original budget targets and the impact of agreed mitigating actions. The 10 year Affordability Model has also been updated to reflect a lower start point with a slower growth trajectory, with a slower pace of capital investment alongside a reduced financing requirement. Despite the adverse budget movement, cash remains strong and well in excess of our Finance Strategy target.

Under the FRC guidance the University has utilised the self-assessment questionnaire that provides a 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 disclosure. The assessment included a review of forecasts and budgets, mitigating actions in response to Covid risks, 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 viable.

The activities which present greatest financial uncertainty to the university are student recruitment, retention and student accommodation income. Although student recruitment and enrolment has fallen short of target in Autumn 2021, new enrolment across the 2021/22 academic year is expected broadly to match enrolment in 2020/21, which saw a significant (21%) increase compared with the year before. Covid has created additional turbulence and uncertainty in recruitment, which the University does not expect to continue for the long term. Neither retention nor accommodation would jeopardise University financial sustainability, though the combined impact of financial shortfalls in these two areas could create some short term financial stress

The result of reverse stress testing has indicated that the University could withstand some adverse movement in the areas of uncertainty, giving comfort over cash solvency for the year and into 2022/23. The cash generation to interest cover ratio, as set out in our bank loans, has a much tighter headroom and could only withstand a modest adverse variance before compliance was called into question. Further stress testing has identified a ‘remote but possible’ set of scenarios totaling £2.8m which identifies a more manageable level of revenue at risk. Mitigating actions which could total c£2.5m have been identified and could be called upon should a material adverse situation arise. Decisions on these actions would be considered alongside seeking covenant waivers from our lenders. 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 scenarios would create significant challenge for the University in maintaining the full range and quality of our educational activities, but the results show that the University could sustain operational and financial viability even in these circumstances of exceptional stress.

The position for recruitment in 2022/23 is in part expected to follow on from the experience of Autumn 2021, as Government Policy on summer exams glides results back to pre-pandemic rates. However, some of the factors that created turbulence in the 2021 cycle, including the inability to hold on campus open days and applicant events, are not expected to recur. At the same time, the University expansion of course offering, coupled with growth in the school leaver population and continuing relative buoyancy in demand from overseas and postgraduate applicants, are expected to deliver growth at around 6-7% per annum on both new and existing courses. The financial performance for the year is expected to report a further deficit, driven by the high LGPS non-cash charge, but cash generation is projected to remain at 11% of turnover.

The City Campus development project commences during 2021/22, with the main spend for phase 1 being incurred during 2022/23. Financing arrangements will be put in place prior to major construction contractual commitments being entered into and will be re-assessed for affordability at key milestone dates during the process. One component of the new loan agreement and consent from existing lenders to the new loan, will be to consider financial covenant tests. We envisage that the development costs and funding will be excluded from the covenant tests during the period of draw down of development funds and as such will not impact on covenant compliance tests. This will form part of the bank loan tender negotiations.

Based on information and knowledge available to the Council in carrying out this review the Council 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:

• building maintenance – against expenditure in the year it is incurred;
• building development or improvement – over the expected useful life of the asset.

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 Gloucestershire ISC 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 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 so as 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.

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 translated 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 2021 Consolidated 2021Consolidated 2020University 2021University
Funding body grants15,9565,9115,9565,911
Tuition fees and education contracts263,97160,54863,97160,548
Research grants and contracts32,0301,9382,0301,938
Other income47,9679,0997,9679,038
Investment income5324311250274
Donations and endowments64271535
Total income 80,25277,83480,18977,744
Staff costs851,45148,23351,45148,233
Restructuring costs8185395185395
Depreciation of tangible fixed assets146,9287,0576,9287,057
Other operating expenses920,26422,33320,26021,801
Interest and other finance     
Total expenditure1180,33379,68480,32979,152
Deficit before other gains/(losses) and     
share of operating surplus of     
jointly controlled entity (81)(1,850)(140)(1,408)
Share of operating surplus in jointly controlled entity17  –  507                        –  –
Gain/(losses) on investments 381(61)335(52)
Gain on disposal of fixed assets 667667
Surplus/(deficit) before tax 967(1,404)862(1,460)
Surplus/(deficit) for the year 918(1,475)813(1,531)
Other comprehensive (losses)/income     
Actuarial loss in respect of pension schemes36(1,453)(18,918)(1,453)(18,918)
Currency translation differences (72)34(72)34
Total comprehensive loss for the year (607)(20,359)(712)(20,415)
Represented by:     
Endowment comprehensive income/(loss) for the year 346(97)239 (118)
Restricted comprehensive loss for the year (1)(6)(1)                (6)
Unrestricted comprehensive loss for the year (952)(20,256)(950)       (20,291)
Surplus/(deficit) for the year attributable to the University 918(1,475)813(1,531)
All items of income and expenditure related to continuing activities.

Consolidated and University Statement of Changes in Reserves
Year ended 31 July 2021

ConsolidatedIncome and expenditure account
 EndowmentRestrictedUnrestricted Revaluation Reserve  Total
 £000£000£000 £000 £000
  Balance at 1 August 20193,1152843,833 434 47,410
Deficit from the statement of comprehensive income(97)(6)(1,372)  (1.475)
Other comprehensive loss(18,884)  (18,884)
Transfers between revaluation and       
income and expenditure reserve434 (434) 
Total comprehensive loss for the year(97)(6)(19,822) (434) (20,359)
Balance at 1 August 20203,0182224,011  27,051
Surplus/(deficit) from the statement of comprehensive income346(1)573  918
Other comprehensive loss(1,525)  (1,525)
Total comprehensive income(loss) for the year346(1)(952)  (607)
Deconsolidation adjustment(44)  (44)
Balance at 31 July 20213,3642123,015  26,400
UniversityIncome and expenditure account
 EndowmentRestrictedUnrestricted Revaluation reserve  Total
 £000£000 £000 £000
  Balance at 1 August 20192,5712843,922 434 46,955
Deficit from the statement of comprehensive income(118)(6)(1,407)  (1,531)
Other comprehensive loss(18,884)  (18,884)
Transfers between revaluation and       
income and expenditure reserve434 (434) 
Total comprehensive loss for the year(118)(6)(19,857) (434) (20,415)
Balance at 1 August 20202,4532224,065  26,540
Surplus/(deficit) from the statement of comprehensive income239(1)575  813
Other comprehensive loss(1,525)  (1,525)
Total comprehensive income/(loss) for the year239(1)(950)  (712)
Balance at 31 July 20212,6922123,115  25,828

Consolidated and University Balance Sheet
As at 31 July 2021

Consolidated Consolidated University University
Non-current assets     
Fixed assets14118,504118,234118,504118,234
Current assets     
Stocks 87798779
Cash and cash equivalents311,4702,2821,3632,135
Creditors: amounts falling due     
within one year20(28,641)(24,432)(28,595)(24,419)
Net current assets 16,50615,85916,52215,862
Total assets less current liabilities 137,977136,716137,405136,205
Creditors: amounts falling due     
after more than one year21(39,413)(43,943)(39,413)(43,943)
Pension provisions (71,481)(64,968)(71,481)(64,968)
Other provisions (683)(754)(683)(754)
Total net assets 26,40027,05125,82826,540
Restricted reserves     
Income and expenditure reserve –     
endowment fund243,3643,0182,6922,453
Income and expenditure reserve –     
restricted reserve2521222122
Unrestricted reserves     
Income and expenditure reserve –     
Unrestricted 23,01524,01123,11524,065
Total reserves 26,40027,05125,82826,540

The Financial Statements were approved by the Council of the University of Gloucestershire on 25 November 2021, and were signed on its behalf by:

Nicola De Iongh
Chair of Council

Stephen Marston

Company number: 06023243

Consolidated and University Cash Flow Statement
Year ended 31 July 2021

NotesConsolidated 2021Consolidated 2020University 2021University 2020
  £000 £000 £000 £000
Cash flow from operating activities        
Surplus/(deficit) for the year before tax 967 (1,404) 862 (1,460)
Adjustment for non-cash items        
Depreciation146,928 7,057 6,928 7,057
(Gain)/loss on investments (381) 61 (335) 52
(Increase)/decrease in stock (5) 22 (5) 22
(Increase) in debtors18(3,489) (1,322) (3,429) (1,273)
Increase in creditors202,984 1,891 2,950 1,991
Increase in pension provisions235,060 3,385 5,060 3,385
(Decrease)/increase in other provisions23(71) 687 (71) 180
Share of operating (surplus) in joint controlled entity   –   (507)   –   –
Jointly controlled entity – deconsolidation (44)      
Adjustment for investing or financing        
Investment income (562) (447) (488) (410)
Interest payable10586 768 586 768
Endowment income (4) (27) (15) (35)
Fixed asset impairment  32  32
Gain on sale of fixed assets (667)  (667) 
Capital grant release to income (1,658) (1,638) (1,658) (1,638)
Exchange (loss)/gain (72) 34 (72) 34
Corporation tax paid (49) (71) (49) (71)
Net cash inflow from operating activities 9,523 8,521 9,597 8,634
Cash flows from investing activities        
Capital grant receipts 943 497 943 497              
Investments 445 641 312 563
Investment income 246 266 233 254
Payments made to acquire fixed assets (7,628) (3,269) (7,628) (3,269)
Payments made to acquire intangible fixed assets (78) (45) (16) (21)
Proceeds from sales of intangible assets 77 45 17 21
Proceeds from sales of fixed assets 1,096  1,096 
New non-current assets (331) (578) (232) (504)
Movement in deposits (2,738) (3,692) (2,738) (3,692)
Net cash outflow from investing activities (7,968) (6,135) (8,013) (6,151)
Cash flows from financing activities        
Interest paid (586) (763) (586) (763)
Endowment cash received 4 27 15 35
Repayments of amounts borrowed (1,785) (2,177) (1,785) (2,177)
Net cash outflow from financing activities (2,367) (2,913) (2,356) (2,905)
(Decrease) in cash and cash
 (812) (527) (772) (422)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of the year 312,282 2,809 2,135 2,557
Cash and cash equivalents at end of the year 311,470 2,282 1,363 2,135

Notes to the Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 July 2021

  2021 2020 2021 2020
  £000 £000 £000 £000
1. Funding body grants
Recurrent grant        
Office for Students 4,681 4,640 4,681 4,640
Teaching Regulation Agency 200 240 200 240
Specific grants        
Office for Students redundancy compensation  28 23 28 23
Deferred capital grants        
Buildings22544 535 544 535
Equipment22503 473 503 473
  5,956 5,911 5,956 5,911
2 Tuition fees and education contracts        
Full time Home and EU students 53,319 52,294 53,319 52,294
Full time International students 5,863 4,484 5,863 4,484
Part time students 2,503 2,684 2,503 2,684
Other (short course) fees 2,286 1,086 2,286 1,086
  63,971 60,548 63,971 60,548
3 Research grants and contracts        
Research Councils 345 123 345 123
UK based charities 35 51 35 51
European Commission grants 1,088 862 1,088 862
Other grants and contracts 562 902 562 902
  2,030 1,938 2,030 1,938
4 Other income        
Residencies, catering and conferences 2,823 3,666 2,823 3,666
Release from deferred capital grants   611   630   611   630
Other services rendered 944 1,035 944 1,035
Other income 3,351 3,632 3,351 3,571
Movement in fair value of derivatives   238   136   238   136
  7,967 9,099 7,967 9,038
5 Investment income        
Investment income on endowments 128 110 54 71
Other investment income 196 201 196 203
  324 311 250 274
6 Donations and endowments        
New endowments242 21 2 21
Donations with restrictions252 6 2 6
Unrestricted donations   11 8
  4 27 15 35
7 Grant and fee income        
Grant income from the OfS 4,646 4,220 4,646 4,220
Grant income from other bodies 4,008 4,370 4,008 4,370
Fee income for taught awards 62,337 59,089 62,337 59,089
Fee income for research awards 1,630 1,455 1,630 1,455
Fee income from non-qualifying courses 5 4 5 4
  72,626 69,138 72,626 
A change has been made to the split in the comparatives (no change to the total) as management believe it is a more accurate disclosure.
Consolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 Consolidated 2020 University  2020
 £000 £000 £000 £000
8. Staff       
staff costs
Wages and salaries35,776 34,082 35,776 34,082
Social security costs3,537 3,410 3,537 3,410
Pension costs (see note 36)12,138 10,741 12,138 10,741
Staff costs51,451 48,233 51,451 48,233
Fundamental restructuring costs                                                                                     185     395   185   395
       2021   2020
Staff numbers by department       
Academic departments    446 415
Central administrative    434 424
Other including manual    10 11
Total staff numbers    890 850
The staff numbers above relate to full time equivalents (including senior post holders).
     2021 2020
     £000 £000
Total remuneration of the Vice-Chancellor       
Salary    170 170
Pension contributions     17
Payment in lieu of pensions    20 10
     190 197
     2021 2020
Median pay ratio – All staff basic pay    4.46 4.46
Median pay ratio – All staff total pay    4.71 4.74
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 and any pay in lieu of notice:

Pension contributions84122
Payment in lieu of pensions2010
Members of Executive whose emoluments are included above67
4.42 FTE5.25 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:

£100,000 – £104,99911
£110,000 – £114,999
£115,000 – £119,99911
£125,000 – £129,999
£140,000 – £144,9991
£165,000 – £169,99911
Compensation for loss of office payments185395
Number of staff whose compensation is included above1262

The numbers above include adjustments from the prior year accruals. 9 staff received compensation for loss of office payments during 2020/21.

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 Chair and non-executive members of Council receive no emoluments with the exception of the staff appointed as council members.

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

9 Other operating expenses Consolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 University 2021 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Consumable and non-capital items2,682 2,190 2,682 2,186
Academic administration936 969 936 969
Books and periodicals615 568 615 568
Rents and premises2,696 4,310 2,694 4,287
Heat, light, water and power1,073 902 1,073 902
Repairs and general maintenance1,648 1,234 1,648 1,234
Staff development and training130 169 130 169
Staff travel and subsistence330 677 330 677
Student travel and subsistence831 1,358 831 1,358
Student bursaries2,088 1,587 2,091 1,591
Marketing and agent commission2,214 2,637 2,214 2,637
Postage, telephone, printing and reprographics357 434 357 434
Insurance and finance508 1,044 508 540
Professional fees and contractors1,886 1,466 1,881 1,461
Course franchising and partnerships1,219 1,092 1,219 1,092
Purchases for resale315 740 315 740
Equipment operating lease rentals161 161 161 161
Students’ Union grant473 408 473 408
Fixed asset impairment 32  32
Other expenses102 355 102 355
 20,264 22,333 20,260 21,801
Included within professional fees       
External auditor’s remuneration – External audit66 66 65 64
External auditor’s remuneration – non-audit services:       
Taxation services4 7 4 7
Other services9 3 9 3
Rental operating lease payments538 1,869 538 1,869
10 Interest and other finance costs Consolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 University 2021 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Loan interest586 763 586 763
Movement in the fair value of derivatives 5  5
Net charge on pension schemes919 898 919 898
 1,505 1,666 1,505 1,666
11. Analysis of total expenditure by activityConsolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 University 2021 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Academic departments35,572 34,168 35,572 34,168
Academic services10,303 9,995 10,303 9,995
Research grants and contracts1,620 1,227 1,620 1,227
Residences, catering and conferences3,403 5,693 3,403 5,693
Premises7,037 6,364 7,037 6,364
Administration17,153 18,371 17,153 18,371
Other expenses5,245 3,866 5,241 3,334
 80,333 79,684 80,329 79,152
12. Access and Participation costs       2021   2020
     £000 £000
Access investment    1,451 1,565
Financial support    1,304 1,358
Disability support (excluding expenditure included in the two categories above)    354 329
Research and Evaluation    78 75
     3,187 3,327

(i) £1,643k (2020: £1,659k) 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 using the following link:

13. TaxationConsolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 University 2021 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Recognised in the statement of comprehensive income       
Corporation tax expense49 71 49 71

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 2021 Consolidated 2020 University 2021 University
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Factors affecting the tax charge       
UK corporation tax at 19% (2020: 19%)184 (210) 164 (223)
Effect of:       
Surplus/deficit falling within charitable exemption(184) 210 (164) 223
Adjustment in respect of previous years49 71 49 71
Total tax expense49 71 49 71
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 148,107 4,960 33,458 507 187,032
Additions at cost 137  1,421 6,099 7,657
Transfers at cost 90  286 (376) 
Disposals (475)  (2,037) (29) (2,541)
At year end 147,859 4,960 33,128 6,201 192,148
At beginning of year 43,249 2,407 23,142  68,798
Charge for the year 3,928 207 2,793  6,928
Disposals (72)  (2,010)  (2,082)
At year end 47,105 2,614 23,925  73,644
Net book value          
At year end 100,754 2,346 9,203 6,201 118,504
At beginning of year 104,858 2,553 10,316 507 118,234
b)     Institution          
At beginning of year 148,107 4,960 33,458 507 187,032
Additions at cost 137  1,421 6,099 7,657
Transfers at cost 90  286 (376) 
Disposals (475)  (2,037) (29) (2,541)
At year end 147,859 4,960 33,128 6,201 192,148
At beginning of year 43,249 2,407 23,142  68,798
Charge for the year 3,928 207 2,793  6,928
Disposals (72)  (2,010)  (2,082)
At year end 47,105 2,614 23,925  73,644
Net book value          
At year end 100,754 2,346 9,203 6,201 118,504
At beginning of year 104,858 2,553 10,316 507 118,234

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 Institution
Land and buildings
 £000 £000
Cost130,637 130,829
Aggregate depreciation based on cost38,371 35,986

The prior year figures have been amended from £101,439 to £130,829 and £35,970 to £35,986 for accuracy.

15. Service concession arrangements

The University has one service concession arrangement where service delivery has commenced.  On 21 January 2016 the University entered into 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 2021 the University nominated 82% of the accommodation available for the 2021-22 Academic Year. Since the year end, this nomination has increased to 82.45%.

Movement in service concession arrangement assets:

The asset value of the service concession included in debtors as at 31 July 2021 is £4,036k (2020: £4,603k).

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 2021 was £4,036k (2020: £4,603k).

16 Non-current investmentsEndowment asset investments Other fixed asset investments Total    
At beginning of year  2,618 5 2,623
Additions at cost  331  331
Revaluation  397  397
Disposals  (384)  (384)
At year end  2,962 5 2,967
At beginning of year  2,104 5 2,109
Additions at cost  232  232
Revaluation  308  308
Disposals  (270)  (270)
At year end  2,374 5 2,379

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 company Percentage holding of ordinary share Shareholding Principal business activity
Fullwood Park Limited100%100 Ordinary £1 sharesProvision of conference and catering services 
Gloucestershire ISC Limited    
100%    1 Ordinary £1 share     Holding interests in joint venture activities    
University of Gloucestershire Professional Services Limited100%1 Ordinary £1 shareProvision and management of professional services staff

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

Gloucestershire ISC Limited is in the process of being voluntarily struck off. An application was made on 30 July 2021 to strike off the company (see note 17). The consolidated financial accounts do not include those of Gloucestershire ISC Limited due to all transactions having been written off prior to the financial year end.

University of Gloucestershire Professional Services Limited was incorporated on 28 April 2021. Trading activity commenced in September 2021, therefore no financial transactions have been included in the consolidated financial statements.

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 2021 show total net assets of £673,762 (2020: £566,559) and net income and movement in funds for the year of £60,523 (2020: £29,645).

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. Investment in Jointly Controlled Entity

On 20 February 2013 the University entered into a Limited Liability Partnership Agreement, INTO Gloucestershire LLP, with INTO University Partnerships Limited. Gloucestershire ISC Limited invested £150,000 into INTO Gloucestershire LLP and has a 50% share of the jointly controlled entity.  The remaining 50% share of INTO Gloucestershire LLP was owned by INTO University of Gloucestershire Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of INTO University Partnerships Limited. The University also entered into an Admission Agreement with Gloucestershire County Council and INTO Gloucestershire Limited, relating to the admission of INTO Gloucestershire LLP to the Gloucestershire County Council Local Government Pension Scheme, to enable two employees transferred to the jointly controlled entity to be members of the Pension Scheme.

On 20 February 2013, Gloucestershire ISC Limited entered into a revolving loan facility agreement to lend up to £600,000 to INTO Gloucestershire LLP, at an interest rate of 2% above the Bank of England base rate. At 31 July 2020 the capital balance was £0 (2019: £600,000) due to a deed of waiver agreement being entered into in March 2020.

During 2018/19 both INTO University Partnerships and the University undertook a joint strategic review of the jointly controlled entity. As an outcome of the review the Board agreed to change the focus of the partnership. As a result of this change of focus, the activities and business of INTO University of Gloucestershire has ceased.

All costs associated with ceasing these activities were provided for in the 2018/19 university and group accounts with minor adjustments being provided for in the 2019/20. All costs were formally written off, against the prior year provisions, during 2020/21. All legal and statutory duties relating to the cessation of the jointly controlled entity were finalised during 2020/21 with an application to voluntarily strike off the company being submitted on 30 July 2021.

18 Debtors Consolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 Institution 2021 Institution 2020
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Trade debtors9,055 5,657 9,012 5,654
Other debtors1,134 1,338 1,133 1,333
Service concession arrangements (note 15)4,036 4,603 4,036 4,603
Amounts owed by subsidiary companies  119 184
Prepayments and accrued income3,310 3,015 3,312 2,976
 17,535 14,613 17,612 14,750

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.

19. Current investmentsConsolidated 2021Consolidated 2020Institution 2021Institution 2020
Short term deposits26,05523,31726,05523,317
20. Creditors: amounts falling due within one year Consolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 Institution 2021 Institution 2020
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Secured loans3,570 1,785 3,570 1,785
Service concession arrangements (note 15)4,036 4,603 4,036 4,603
Payment received on account7,357 2,016 7,357 2,016
Trade creditors1,905 3,149 1,905 3,146
Social security and other taxation payable948 922 948 922
Pensions916 846 916 846
Deferred capital grants1,753 1,747 1,753 1,747
Accruals and deferred income8,156 9,364 8,110 9,354
 28,641 24,432 28,595 24,419
21. Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one yearConsolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 Institution 2021 Institution 2020
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Secured loans21,850 25,420 21,850 25,420
Derivatives357 596 357 596
Deferred capital grants17,206 17,927 17,206 17,927
 39,413 43,943 39,413 43,943
Analysis of secured and unsecured loans       
Due within one year3,570 1,785 3,570 1,785
Due between one and two years15,847 3,570 15,847 3,570
Due between two and five years5,541 18,710 5,541 18,710
Due in five years or more462 3,140 462 3,140
 25,420 27,205 25,420 27,205

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. Due to COVID-19 an amendment agreement to the original loan contract was entered into in July 2020, providing a 7-month capital repayment holiday reducing the capital repayment during 2021 to £0.8m, no change has been made to the term of the loan which is due to end in October 2026.

A further £20 million secured loan facility was taken out with HSBC in 2017 to fund the development of a new business school building and sports centre at the Oxstalls Campus. The loan has now been fully drawn down with the final tranche of £2.25m being drawn in November 2018. The loan is for an initial term of five years, with an option to extend. The option to extend the facility to March 2023 was approved in August 2019, revised rates of LIBOR + 1.30% was effective from September 2019. Due to COVID-19, a 7-month capital repayment holiday was approved in July 2020 reducing the capital repayment during 2021 to £1m, no change has been made to the term of the loan which is due to end in March 2023.

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.

During 2017/18 the University entered into a 1.5% CAP facility with RBS to assist managing the additional interest rate risk associated with its additional borrowings with HSBC.

22 Deferred capital grants Consolidated & Institution Consolidated & Institution Consolidated & Institution
  Funding Councils Other grants & benefactions Total
  £000 £000 £000
At beginning of year      
Buildings 7,894 8,351 16,245
Equipment 2,791 638 3,429
  10,685 8,989 19,674
Cash received      
Buildings 261  261
Equipment 589 93 682
  850 93 943
Released to income and expenditure      
Buildings (544) (476) (1,020)
Equipment (503) (135) (638)
  (1,047) (611) (1,658)
At end of year      
Buildings 7,611 7,875 15,486
Equipment 2,877 596 3,473
  10,488 8,471 18,959
23 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  63,382 425 1,161 754 65,722
Utilised during the year  1,453  (252)  1,201
Transfer from Income and Expenditure account  5,182 11 119 (71) 5,241
At end of year  70,017 436 1,028 683 72,164
   LGPS Defined benefit obligations   Obligation to fund deficit on USS and CEFPS Pensioners   Other Total
   £000 £000 £000 £000 £000
At beginning of year  63,382 425 1,161 754 65,722
Utilised during the year  1,453  (252)  1,201
Transfer from Income and Expenditure  5,182 11 119 (71) 5,241
At end of year  70,017 436 1,028 683 72,164
24. Endowment reserves Restricted permanent endowments Expendable endowments   Total   2021 Total   2020
At beginning of year       
Capital2,093 1,619 3,712 3,673
Accumulated income(13) (681) (694) (556)
 2,080 938 3,018 3,117
New Endowments 1 1 22
Investment income78 77 155 18
Expenditure(117) (48) (165) (138)
 (39) 30 (9) (98)
Increase in market value of investments300 55 355 (1)
At end of year2,341 1,023 3,364 3,018
Analysis by type of purpose       
Fellowships and scholarship prizes 11 11 36
Prize funds13 71 84 86
Other funds2,328 941 3,269 2,896
 2,341 1,023 3,364 3,018
Analysis by asset       
Current and non-current asset investments    2,960 2,671
Cash and cash equivalents    404 347
     3.364 3,018
At beginning of year       
Capital2,093 973 3,066 3,042
Accumulated income(13) (600) (613) (472)
 2,080 373 2,453 2,570
New Endowments 1 1 21
Investment income80 3 83 19
Expenditure(117) (36) (153) (158)
 (37) (32) (69) (118)
Increase in market value of investments300 8 308 1
At end of year2,343 349 2,692 2,453
Analysis by type of purpose       
Fellowships and scholarship prizes 11 11 36
Prize funds14 71 85 86
Other funds2,329 267 2,596 2,331
 2.343 349 2,692 2,453
Analysis by asset       
Current and non-current asset investments    2,375 2,106
Cash and cash equivalents    317 347
     2,692 2,453
25. Restricted Reserve Consolidated 2021   Consolidated 2020 Institution  2021 Institution 2020
At beginning of year22 28 22 28
New endowments and donations2 6 2 6
Expenditure(3) (12) (3) (12)
At end of year21 22 21 22
Analysis by type of purpose       
Scholarships and bursaries7 8 7 8
Other funds14 14 14 14
 21 22 21 22
26 Revaluation Reserve Consolidated 2021   Consolidated 2020   Institution  2021 Institution 2020
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) (27,381) (27,815) (27,381)
Released in year (434)  (434)
At end of year(27,815) (27,815) (27,815) (27,815)
Revaluation reserve       
At end of year   
At beginning of year 434  434
27 Lease obligations Consolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 Institution 2021 Institution 2020
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Future minimum lease payments under non-cancellable operating leases are as follows:       
Within 1 year483 689 483 689
Between 2 and 5 years1,526 1,884 1,526 1,884
Over 5 years1,468 1,704 1,468 1,704
 3,477 4,277 3,477 4,277
Land and buildings3,334 4,078 3,334 4,078
Other operating leases143 199 143 199
 3,477 4,277 3,477 4,277
28 Capital commitments Consolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 Institution 2021 Institution 2020
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Authorised but not contracted       
At end of year32,062 3,199 32,062 3,199
Authorised and contracted       
At end of year1,527 695 1,527 695

29. 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.

30. Events after the reporting period

As set out in Note 31 in respect of the USS pension scheme, a new Schedule of Contributions based on the 2020 actuarial valuation has been agreed and came into effect from 1 October 2021. The Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) has recommended benefit changes and these are subject to a member consultation which is due to conclude in February 2022. If the benefit changes are approved it would lead to an increase of £875k in the provision for the Obligation to fund the deficit on the USS pension which would instead be £1.306m.  Should the benefit changes not be approved the provision will increase by £1.606m to £2.037m. The corresponding adjustment will be reflected in the University’s Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2022.

31. Cash and cash equivalents

 At beginning of year Cash flows At end of year
 £000 £000 £000
Cash at bank and in hand2,282 (812) 1,470
Short term deposits23,317 2,738 26,055
 25,599 1,926 27,525
Cash at bank and in hand2,135 (772) 1,363
Short term deposits23,317 2,738 26,055
 25,452 1,966 27,418
 32. Consolidated reconciliation of net debt    Consolidated 2021
Net debt 1 August    30,122
Movement in cash and cash equivalents    812
Movement in secured loans    (1,785)
Other non-cash changes    (806)
Net debt 31 July    28,343
Change in net debt    (1,779)
Analysis of net debt:  Consolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020
   £000 £000
Cash and cash equivalents  1,470 2,282
Borrowings: amounts falling due within one year     
Secured loans  3,570 1,785
Service concession arrangements  4,036 4,603
   7,606 6,388
Borrowings: amounts falling due after more than one year     
Secured loans  21,850 25,420
Derivatives  357 596
   22,207 26,016
Net debt  28,343 30,122
33 Financial instruments Consolidated 2021 Consolidated 2020 Institution 2021 Institution 2020
 £000 £000 £000 £000
Financial assets       
Financial assets at fair value through statement of comprehensive income       
Listed investments2,962 2,618 2,374 2,104
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 equivalents1,470 2,282 1,363 2,135
Current investments26,055 23,317 26,055 23,317
Trade debtors9,055 5,657 9,012 5,654
Other debtors1,134 1,338 1,133 1,333
Amounts owed by subsidiary companies  121 184
Accrued income1,238 1,021 1,238 982
 41,919 36,238 41,301 35,714
Financial liabilities         
Financial liabilities measured at amortised cost       
Secured loans  25,420 27,205 25,420 27,205
Service concession arrangement4,0364,6034,0364,603
Trade creditors  1,856 3,149 1,856 3,146
Accruals  5,708 5,664 5,704 5,660
Derivatives  357 596 357 596
   37,377 41,217 37,373 41,210

34. 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:

For the year ended 31 July 2021 expenses totalling £402 (2020: £2,005) were claimed by two Directors and Trustees in respect of their responsibilities as Directors and Trustees. 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 Mr Luc Brown is President. 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 £372 (2020: £5,237) and purchases of £583,724 (2020: £520,701) relating to core activities were transacted with the Student Union. At the year-end a balance of £372 (2020: £0) was due to The University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union and a year-end balance of £18,039 (2020: £0) was owed to The University.

35. The Teaching Regulation Agency

The University, acting as agent for the Teaching Regulation Agency (previously known as the National College for Teaching and Leadership), disbursed £1,030,100 (2020: £682,875) training bursaries to students undergoing Initial Teacher Training for the year ended 31 July 2021.  The training bursaries have not been included in the income and expenditure of the University.

36. 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 2023, based on April 2020 data.

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

 2021 2020
 £000 £000
Contributions to Teachers’ Pensions4,102 3,738

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 £199,433 (2020: £186,806).

Deficit recovery contributions due within one year for the institution are £54,728 (2020: £18,397).

The latest available complete actuarial valuation of the Retirement Income Builder is at 31 March 2018 (the valuation date), which was carried out using the projected unit method. A valuation as at 31 March 2020 is underway but not yet complete.

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 2018 valuation was the fifth valuation for the scheme under the scheme-specific funding regime introduced by the Pensions Act 2004, which requires schemes to adopt a statutory funding objective, which is to have sufficient and appropriate assets to cover their technical provisions. At the valuation date, the value of the assets of the scheme was £63.7 billion and the value of the scheme’s technical provisions was £67.3 billion indicating a shortfall of £3.6 billion and a funding ratio of 95%.

The key financial assumptions used in the 2018 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 1.3% p.a.
Discount rate (forward rates)Years 1-10: CPI+0.14% reducing linearly to CPI – 0.73%
Years 11-20: CPI + 2.52% reducing linearly to CPI + 1.55% by year 21
Years 21 +: CPI + 1.55%

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 2018 actuarial valuation. The mortality assumptions used in these figures are as follows:

2018 valuation
Mortality base tablePre-retirement: 71% of AMC00 (duration 0) for males and 112% of AFC00 (duration 0) for females Post retirement: 97.6% of SAPS S1NMA “light” for males and 102.7% of RFV00 for females
Future improvements to mortalityCMI_2017 with a smoothing parameter of 8.5 and a long term improvement rate of 1.8% pa for males and 1.6% pa for females

The current life expectancies on retirement at age 65 are:

Males currently aged 65 (years)24.624.4
Females currently aged 65 (years)26.125.9
Males currently aged 45 (years)26.626.3
Females currently aged 45 (years)27.927.7

A new deficit recovery plan was put in place as part of the 2018 valuation, which requires payment of 2% of salaries over the period 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2021 at which point the rate will increase to 6%. The 2020 deficit recovery liability reflects this plan. The liability figures have been produced using the following assumptions:

Discount rate0.89%0.74%
Pensionable salary growth3.00%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 2021 were £5,170m, of which employer’s contributions totalled £3,564m and employees’ contributions totalled £1,036m. 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 2016 updated to 31 July 2021 by a qualified independent actuary, Hymans Robertson.

Latest actuarial valuations31 March 2016
Market value of assets at date of last valuation£1,703m
Investment returns per annum4.00%
Salary scale increases per annum2.40%
Pension increases per annum2.10%
Price Inflation       2.10%

The estimate of contributions expected to be paid in the next year (year ending 31 July 2022) are £3,571m at a contribution rate of 22.1% until the next actuarial valuation change in April 2022.

The major assumptions used by the Actuary were:

 31 July 202131 July 202031 July 2019
Pension increase rate2.802.102.40
Salary increase rate3.102.402.70
Expected return on assets1.601.402.10
Discount rate1.601.402.10
Inflation assumption1.601.402.10

The mortality assumptions assume that the current rate of improvements have peaked and will converge to a long term rate of 1.25%.  Based on these assumptions, the average life expectancies at age 65 are:

 31 July 202131 July 202031 July 2019
Current Pensioners   
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:

 2021 2020
 £000 £000
Amounts included in staff costs   
Current service cost7,830 7,009
Past service cost (including curtailments)0 174
 7,830 7,183
Amounts included in interest and other finance costs   
Interest income on plan assets(1,483) (2,210)
Interest on pension scheme liabilities2,399 3,095
Net charge to other finance costs916 885
Amount recognised in other comprehensive income   
Return on pension plan assets20,047 (3,815)
Changes in demographic assumptions(2,477) 1,823
Changes in financial assumptions(21,101) (14,512)
Experience (gains)/losses arising on defined benefit obligations2,078 (2,414)
 (1,453) (18,918)
An analysis of the amount shown in the balance sheets at 31 July 2021 and 31 July 2020 is:     
 31 July 2021 31 July 2020
 £000 £000
Total market value of assets128,671 104,843
Actuarial value of scheme liabilities(198,687) (168,224)
Deficit in the scheme – Net pension liability recorded within pension provisions(70,016) (63,381)
 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(63,381) (40,545)
Current service cost(7,830) (7,009)
Employer contributions3,564 4,150
Impact of settlement and curtailment0 (174)
Net interest on the defined (liability)(916) (885)
Actuarial gain/(loss)(1,453) (18,918)
Net defined (liability) in scheme at 31 July(70,016) (63,381)
  Movement in present value of the pension scheme during the year   
Present value at 1 August168,224 144,165
Current service cost (net of member contributions)7,830 7,009
Past service costs (including curtailments)0 174
Net interest2,399 3,095
Plan participants’ contributions1,036 1,020
Actuarial gain/(loss)21,500 15,103
Actual benefit payments(2,302) (2,342)
Present value at 31 July198,687 168,224
 31 July 2021 31 July 2020
Movement in the fair value of scheme assets£000 £000
Fair value at 1 August104,843 103,620
Expected return on assets20,047 (3,815)
Interest income on plan assets1,483 2,210
Actual contributions paid by University3,564 4,150
Plan participants’ contributions1,036 1,020
Actual benefit payments(2,302) (2,342)
Fair value at 31 July128,671 104,843
History of experience gains and losses Year to July 2021 Year to July 2020 Year to July 2019 Year to July 2018 Year to July 2017 
Difference between the expected and actual return on assets 
Amount (£’000) 20,047(3,815) 3,951 4,906            8,125
Percentage of assets at year end15.58%(3.64)%3.81%5.26%9.78%
Experience gains/(losses) on liabilities 
Amount (£’000) 1   (2,052) 
Percentage of liabilities at year end 0%0% 0% 0% (1.77)%

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 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 (2021: £10k, 2020: £10k), plus figures highlighted in the table below, giving a total charge of £8k for 2021 (2020: £23k).

A valuation of the Scheme is carried out once every three years.  The most recent Scheme valuation completed was carried out as at 31 December 2018.  The 2018 valuation revealed a deficit of £50m, based on assets of £1,818m and a funding target of £1,868m, assessed using the following assumption

Following the 31 December 2018 valuation, a recovery plan was put in place until 31 December 2022 and the deficit recovery contributions (as a percentage of pensionable stipends) are as set out in the table below. 

  % of pensionable stipendsJanuary 2018 to December 2020 January 2021 to December 2022
Deficit repair contributions11.9% 7.1%

As at 31 December 2018 the deficit recovery contributions under the recovery plan in force at that time were 11.9% of pensionable stipends until December 2025.

As at 31 December 2019 and 31 December 2020 the deficit recovery contributions under the recovery plan in force were as set out in the above table.

For senior office holders, pensionable stipends are adjusted in the calculations by a multiple, as set out in the Scheme’s rules.

Section 28.11A of FRS 102 requires agreed deficit recovery payments to be recognised as a liability.  The movement in the balance sheet liability over 2017 and over 2018 is set out in the table below.

     2020  2019
 £ £
Balance Sheet liability at 1 January 20206,000  19,000
Deficit contributions paid(3,000) (3,000)
Interest cost                     0 0
Remaining change to the balance sheet liability*                      1,000 (10,000)
Balance Sheet liability at 31 December 2020                                                                                4,000 6,000

  *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 set by reference to the duration of the deficit recovery payments:

 December 2020 December 2019 December 2018
Discount rate         0.2% 1.1% 2.1%
Price inflation         3.1% 2.8% 3.1%
Increase to total pensionable payroll         1.6% 1.3% 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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