Leiden University has its finances in order
Leiden University has its finances in order and in the last year has booked a positive result of more than twenty million euros. The money will be used for educational investments due to the increase in student numbers. In the coming years, this positive result is expected to drop to two million euros.
These are the conclusions of the annual financial report and the framework policy document for 2014-2017 which were discussed last Monday in the University Council. This policy document is where the University sets out its expectations for the coming years. Part of the positive result for 2012 is due to a VAT refund by the Tax Office of eight million euros over the period from 2008-2012.
Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board Willem te Beest is happy with the result, but also emphasises that the money is badly needed to invest in people for teaching and research. ‘It is certainly a very good result since we had budgeted a little less, eighteen million euros. However, the growing student numbers mean that we have to hire more people to teach. We expect to have more PhD candidates, and more research projects, and we will need people to do that work. And then there are the performance agreements on improving education that we have made with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science: meeting these agreements also costs money. The twenty million is a very positive result, but that amount will shrink again in the coming years.’
According to Te Beest, substantial economy measures are expected from the Cabinet, but Leiden University is well prepared for this thanks to how economical it has been with its funds in the past few years. 'The generally shrinking budgets of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science are the most uncertain factor in our finances,’ says Te Beest, ‘but we have the means to cope with the cutbacks.’
The number of students who want to study in Leiden is continuing to increase, which is a positive development. Te Beest: 'Look at fast-growing programmes such as International Studies, or the doubling of the number of students at Leiden University College. That’s a serious increase and it means that we also have to invest in teaching. The faculties are working hard to fill their vacancies, but the necessary resources have only recently been made available. So we really have some catching up to do.'
(15 May 2013)