Financial Strategy 2016-2020

This Financial Strategy provides an integrated, strategic approach to managing the financial position of the University in order to support its strategic aims.  The objective is to provide long-term financial sustainability and allow appropriate investment to support the University’s mission, the strategic plan and its vision to be a leading campus-based University.

The financial aims and objectives will be reviewed annually when the financial forecasts are updated.  The reviews will need to take account of academic strategies and plans, other supporting strategies and external factors, in order to develop an overall balance that meets the needs of the University.

Essential to the development of the 2015-2020 strategic plan was the recognition that Keele needs to respond to the financial challenges of the sector and to have a strong financial model underpinning its future plans.  Whilst Keele wishes to retain the benefits, culture and appeal of being a relatively small University, it was also recognised that growth in student numbers and overall income is essential to deliver economies of scale and increased levels of surpluses, thus supporting the University in maintaining its sector leading student experience and further enhancing its research profile. 

Strategic aim 1 is to continue building towards Keele being a broad-based research-led University of about 13,000 students recognised internationally for excellence in education, research and enterprise.  This compares with the current position where Keele has a student population of around 8,400 full time equivalents and approximately 10,000 headcount.  A further aim is to more than double research grant income from £16.5m in 2014/15 to £26.5m in 2020/21.  Overall there are some ambitious aims underpinning the Strategic Plan which seek to increase the University’s income significantly and to generate annual cash surpluses of £10m to £12m by 2020.  Alongside these aims, and pivotal to them, is the commitment to provide a sector-leading student experience.

Strategic aim 6 of the University Plan is to transform how we work to ensure the University’s development is sustainable and delivers world-leading teaching and research. A key objective supporting this aim is to maintain financial sustainability and build income and expenditure reserves by

  • increasing income and generating increased levels of surpluses and cash from operations for investment in the University’s infrastructure, in line with a clear funding plan
  • targeting staffing investments in areas of growth, whilst managing staff costs overall
  • strategically prioritising the programme of capital development funded by both internal and external sources
  • continuing to develop robust risk management processes
  • the promotion of fundraising and delivering the development campaign.

These are expanded upon in the key financial objectives of this Financial Strategy which are set out in section 3.