An update from your University Executive Board

January 17th, 2024

UK Higher Education is facing unprecedented financial pressures, largely due to the impact of high inflation and rising utility costs and associated financial challenges for students which are causing more of them to change their plans, whilst tuition fees decline in real-terms value.

At Nottingham, we also face some challenges around our estate and the need to address some immediate maintenance issues.

Because of this, we have identified a gap versus our planned budget which means if we do nothing, we will end the financial year with a deficit and this is not a sustainable position for the university.

While we are still in a much better position than many in the sector, this is a more challenging financial position than any of us would wish to be in and we need to respond appropriately to deal with this situation.

To manage this, we need to make some decisions that will ensure organisational resilience into the future while protecting the important work we are doing across the institution.

Each area has put forward a number of measures on how to reduce spend in their area.  For example, we will be pausing recruitment across the university except in some critical areas.  Longer term, in response to your feedback in our People and Culture survey, we remain ambitious about developing and delivering an operating model for the university that will create an environment which is simpler, more open and transparent, and efficient for all colleagues and students.

Over the next few weeks, we will be holding a series of roadshows – to be led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the Chief Financial Officer – to discuss the university’s finances and budgeting, organisational resilience and the future of the university’s operating model.  This will be an opportunity for you to inform our longer-term thinking as well as sharing the short-term measures we will be putting in place.

Please do register for one of these sessions.

This is about making the right decisions now to ensure organisational resilience in the future.  Preparing for the future would be important even in the best of times, but it is all the more so in the volatile political, social and economic environment of today.

Over the coming months there will be more opportunities for discussion around our plans for Future Nottingham and we would welcome your engagement in this.

With best wishes,

University Executive Board

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