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Value for Money Statement

The following information sets out how the University finances work, where our income comes from, and what we spend our money on. At the University of Central Lancashire, our governing body ensures that satisfactory arrangements are in place to provide transparency about value for money for our students and for taxpayers.

What does value for money mean?

Value for money is defined as the most advantageous combination of cost, quality and sustainability to meet student and stakeholder requirements.

The University’s mission is “to transform lives by helping people to flourish in education, at work and for life through real-world learning, creating prosperity and opportunity for the communities we serve”. 

We’re proud of our roots in Preston which is home to our main campus, and we also have campuses in Burnley, Cumbria and Cyprus. As a large civic university we create positive change in the lives of our students and the region and, as the largest employer in Preston, we provide work opportunities for our students and our local community, creating opportunities for all. We take great pride in the impact the University has in the region, having invested significantly in developing our campus in recent years. We recognise that our students and graduates contribute to the University’s role of driving significant economic, cultural and social development, as well as widening access to and participation in higher education.

We believe we create value for students through providing:

  • An innovative teaching and learning environment;
  • Industry links, work experience opportunities and graduate employability;
  • Second-to-none student support and engagement
  • Sound corporate governance and management
  • Travel opportunities and being part of a university with global connections
  • A contribution to our local communities through strong external engagement

Where does our money come from?

More than two thirds of our income is from student fees (including UK, international, undergraduate and postgraduate students) and education contracts. Around 14% of our income is from funding body grants which come from the Office for Students, the Education & Skills Funding Agency and from Research England. The remainder of our income is from a variety of sources including research grants, investments, accommodation and commercial activities.

Our total income for the year 2019/20 was just under £244m and came from the following sources:

  • Tuition fees and education contracts - £173m
  • Funding body grants - £34m
  • Research grants and contracts - £7m
  • Accommodation and commercial – £12m
  • Other income - £17m
  • Investment income - £1m

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How do we spend our money?

All of our income is spent on the University to deliver teaching and learning, to carry out research, to deliver support services and to provide teaching, learning and research spaces as well as social spaces where our students can relax.

Over the last five years we have increasingly invested in the areas that we know matter to our students: the academic experience; support services; accommodation; and research that delivers real-world impact.

Some examples of these investments are:

  • Additional student support for mental health and wellbeing;
  • Our new Student Centre, which will open in 2021. The Student Centre will be the gateway to the University and will provide all key student services within a dedicated and purpose-built space to ensure that our students have the best experience possible; and
  • The Engineering Innovation Centre, which acts as a hive of innovation, creating a spirit of collaboration and knowledge transfer between University researchers, industry experts, businesses and students, further enhancing the student experience.

Our total expenditure for the year 2019/20 was just under £253m, which was spent in the following ways:

  • Core Academic Expenditure - £166m
  • Support Services - £47m
  • Premises Costs - £22m
  • Accommodation & Commercial Services - £10m
  • Research Expenditure - £7m
  • Other expenditure - £1m

How are we helping our community during the pandemic?

In 2019/20, we faced the unprecedented challenges presented by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions introduced by the UK government to combat the spread of the virus.  During this period we’ve invested more in both our technology and our infrastructure to ensure our students can continue to study safely. Moving our entire academic provision online in a matter of days and amending our arrangements for final year assessments to ensure that students could complete their courses on time demonstrated our commitment to providing our students with value for money.  

We’ve supported our students through this transition by providing hundreds of laptops and 4G internet dongles to enable them to access online provision, as well as establishing a COVID Hardship Fund to support students who have been struggling financially during lockdown and free food for all students during the exams period.

We’re proud to support our local communities by releasing staff and students to work on the frontline in support of the NHS and by developing and producing key specialist equipment such as respirator valves and acetate visors, as well as hundreds of items of PPE. We’ve offered our facilities to support frontline provision, including providing accommodation in our Halls for staff at the Royal Preston Hospital who needed to self-isolate from their families, as well as transforming the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre into a patient recovery centre.

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Glossary of Terms

Value for money is defined as the most advantageous combination of cost, quality and sustainability to meet student and stakeholder requirements.

Enhancement of the service or experience.

The formal structures and processes within the University for decision-making.

The work that the University does with stakeholders outside of the University as well as engaging with prospective new students.

Through our investments in technology and infrastructure we were able to move our entire academic provision online in a matter of days.

Amounts not covered elsewhere in the expenditure analysis.

Other funding received outside of the categories shown, such as apprenticeship funding.

Can be described as the day-to-day costs incurred in running the campus, such as electricity, gas, water, cleaning, maintenance.