Financial statements 2015: Solid finances gearing AU for future challenges

Aarhus University is geared to handling the difficult financial situation. This is evident from the financial statements and annual report for 2015, which were approved by the University Board at a meeting on 26 April.

Having posted losses for the past two years, Aarhus University returned a profit of DKK 52 million for 2015. Thus, Aarhus University’s finances have now been balanced as a result of the recovery plan which was implemented in 2014. This has created a good starting point for overcoming the financial challenges facing the university in the coming years.

Technically, a profit of approx. DKK 176 million was posted due to extraordinary income of DKK 124 million from the sale of the engineering buildings at Dalgas Avenue in Aarhus. These funds have, however, been earmarked in advance for paying rent at the new Navitas building, new home to the engineering programmes in Aarhus.

“The University Board is extremely pleased with the results for 2015 and the robust financial management system which has now been established at Aarhus University. And with equity of about 10% of revenue, Aarhus University fulfils the University Board’s wish for sufficient reserves to be in place to withstand unforeseen challenges,” says Chairman Michael Christiansen.

See the annual report (English version available as soon as possible)

Sound basis for budget plan

The results for 2015 mean that the books will remain balanced for 2016, and also that Aarhus University will be able to withstand the decline in revenue expected as a result of the passing of the most recent Finance Act. However, the budgeting for the period after 2016 will be challenged by the decline in revenue.

Based on the 2% reduction in Finance Act appropriations for education, and the cutting of the governmental research pools, Aarhus University expects losses of at least DKK 300 million for the period up until 2019. The university is therefore in the process of preparing a budget plan for the handling of the financial challenges.

The senior management team is expected to complete the draft budget plan by the beginning of June, after which the plan will be submitted to the University Board for final approval, also in June. The implementation of the budget plan is due to start after the summer holidays. 

The university meets development contract goals

The University Board approved the review of the year and expressed great satisfaction with the reporting on the university’s academic goals.

“It is very positive that the university has achieved its academic goals for 2015. This is a good starting point for our continued focus on ensuring the high quality of education and research at Aarhus University,” says Michael Christiansen.

Particularly noteworthy are the university’s results in the field of talent development and cooperation with business and industry and the outside world in general. The reporting shows the results of targeted efforts to develop the greatest research talents and to put knowledge to use through close, long-term and innovative relations with society.

The goal for the number of international full-degree students was the only one not to be met, which is ascribable, among other things, to the challenges posed by the degree programme resizing in relation to the university’s international recruitment. Aarhus University has therefore launched a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening international recruitment, although the university does not expect these initiatives to compensate fully for the effects of the degree programme resizing.