A strong and balanced financial position ensures the continuity of education and research.
Radboud University deliberately budgeted negatively so that we could recruit additional staff to safeguard the quality of education and research, reduce the workload and make additional investments in ICT and information security. In 2021, the university received extra (NPO) funding that was not included in the 2021 budget. Partly due to the extra funds obtained, which were not budgeted by the university, the year ended with a smaller deficit of €5.3 million. By mid-2021, plans had been made to spend the NPO funds in the best possible way. Priorities were the prevention and limitation of delays in students’ study progress, the well-being of students and staff, the reduction of staff workloads and a better balance between education and research. This led to the recruitment of more staff than budgeted but – due to a tight job market – fewer staff than the additional resources would have allowed. Partly because of this, there were no significant changes in students’ study progress, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial overview for 2021
The result realised for 2021 was €5.3 million negative, while a negative result of €11.6 million was budgeted. The positive difference between the budgeted result and the realised result amounts to €6.3 million. Broadly speaking, this difference can be divided into three parts.
On the one hand, there were unexpected gains of €11.5 million relating to unused sector plan funding for science and technology, unused (normative) NPO resources and underspending at faculties. On the other hand, this was offset by a lower result of €2.7 million due to the pandemic, which led to higher costs for hiring, costs of renting Stadsschouwburg Nijmegen and concert hall De Vereeniging (the pandemic required us to rent larger lecture halls off campus), and lower results for Catering and Sport. In addition, there were unbudgeted costs of €2.9 million related to additional support for top-level research and digital assessment. On the whole, this largely explains the positive €6.3 million difference between the realised result and the budgeted result for 2021.
Despite a budgeted decrease, liquidity increased by €18.0 million compared to 2020. This can largely be explained by an improved cash flow (the sum of the result and depreciation), fewer investments than budgeted, and a greater positive development of the working capital than anticipated in the budget.
The negative result for 2021 will reduce equity by €5.3 million.
COVID-19 pandemic and continuity
The university has assessed whether the developments in the pandemic after the balance sheet date affected the continuity assumption. We concluded that there is an uncertainty, the extent of which cannot yet be estimated. Meanwhile, government measures are being relaxed as of the end of February 2022. Given the expected developments in the liquidity position and the lump sum government contributions, there is no material uncertainty about the continuity of the university as a whole. As in 2021, the negative pandemic effects in 2022 primarily manifest themselves at Radboud Services, where the turnover of the catering and sport facilities largely disappeared. The faculties, on the other hand, had lower material costs in the first months of 2022 (including lower travel and accommodation costs). The personnel costs were higher than budgeted but lower than they would have been without the extra funds. This was caused by not filling vacancies or filling them later, both because of a relatively difficult job market and the pandemic.