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Growth, investment and ambition help deliver strong financial performance for University

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Published on 06 January 2023

University of Sunderland
University of Sunderland

The University of Sunderland is helping to transform the lives of more than 25,500 students as it continues to grow worldwide and invest millions in its campuses, according to its 2021-22 Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Published this week, the report sets out the University’s financial position over the past year, at the same time as reiterating its strategic purpose and ambitions and detailing its achievements.

The report notes that the University has:

  • shown year-on-year improvement in the key financial metrics of underlying operating surplus, operating cash generation and year end cash balance over the last five years;

  • invested £76.4m over the five years ending in 2023 in facilities for both students and staff;

  • grown student numbers to more than 25,500;

  • opened a new £5million Anatomy Centre; 

  • further strengthened ties with the Sunderland Students’ Union (SU);

  • expanded the University of Sunderland in London; and  

  • topped up student hardships funds to establish a cost-of-living support scheme of up to £1m.

As well as restating its life-changing purpose, the report also provides an update on the financial position of the University.

Speaking as the report was published, Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, said: “Once again, we ended the academic year in an advantageous position financially. This continues the improvements we have seen over recent years and is reflected in an increased level of liquidity and moving from having net debt to being net cash positive. 

“In addition, we have grown our investment programme and completed an extensive number of capital works, including the opening of a £5m anatomy centre to support our work in medicine and other health disciplines, as well as new facilities for film and radio production, and photography. 

“Our financial strength has not come about by accident. It is the result of taking a careful approach over several years as we have set realistic income targets and kept our costs under scrutiny, at the same time as developing our academic activity in a number of different ways.”

University leaders say they are now in a strong position to build on the educational successes of the past five years and, at the same time, maintain long-term financial sustainability.

The full annual report can be viewed here