Job cuts: University of Leicester delays financial report, amid debt crisis

Written by Toby Cray

The University of Leicester is yet to produce its annual financial statement for the last academic year, sparking concerns about a lack of transparency over their financial troubles.

This comes as the university presses ahead with cuts across several schools, despite receiving a £25 million loan from the Bank of England Covid Corporate Financing Facility in mid-January.

David Harvie, Leicester UCU communications officer, said: “[The financial situation] highlights the University’s monumental problems with its governance: the lack of transparency, the lack of accountability and exclusion of employee voices.”

The university has faced fierce criticism over the way it has handled the cuts, with their lack of financial transparency adding to concerns.

David, who is also an Associate Professor of finance and political economy at the university, stated: “The delay in publishing the financial statements is even more worrying. This is almost certainly related to the University’s breach of covenants with some of its creditors – the chief operating officer has acknowledged this.”

A spokesman for the university commented: “We will be publishing our most recent financial statements in accordance to statutory guidelines in February.

“Our decision to participate in the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) is a precautionary measure in a year where we have made capital investment in projects which will significantly improve the student experience, and contribute to the University’s pioneering work in space research.”

David added: “Even a relatively small deviation rebounds badly since University assets are part of the pension provision and any risk that impacts on them means increasing pension shortfall, which makes the University even more precarious.”

David was certain that the lack of transparency reflected: “the university’s parlous finances.”

Toby Cray is a second-year journalism student at the University of Leicester. You can find him on Instagram here: @toby5.c

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