Our total income in 2017–18 was £1.03 billion, up 4.2% on 2016–17.
2017–18 Income by source (£ million)
Income from education
Income from tuition fees and education contracts continues to grow steadily, by £30.8 million (11.6%) this year to £295.9 million. Overall registered student numbers increased by 849 (4.8%) to 18,415, with almost two-thirds of the increase being from international students who now make up 36% of the student body. The College continues to be heavily oversubscribed with on average over seven applicants for every undergraduate place and over six for every postgraduate slot.
Our reliance on students from a small number of countries outside the EU reduces the diversity of our funding sources and our student mix, bringing risks to our financial robustness and the quality of our educational experience respectively.
A review of the College’s strategy for international student recruitment is underway with targeted initiatives in new markets to address these risks. To date, the number of student applications from the EU has continued to grow, albeit at a slightly slower rate than before the referendum. Whilst press coverage has centred on concerns around EU research funding, we consider talent mobility to be an equally important issue.
Income from funding bodies
Funding council income of £150.5 million is £7.4 million (5.2%) higher than last year, the first time this funding stream has seen a year-on-year increase since 2011–12. This is mainly due to the receipt of a capital payment of £9.2 million from the government towards the construction costs for the Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Research Hub at our White City Campus.
This funding, £20 million in total, had to be won via competition and required 2:1 matched funding from the private sector. At the same time, the government teaching and recurrent research grants have remained flat in cash terms.
Income from research
Research grant and contract income remained broadly flat at £364.2 million this year. Although income from both Research Councils and the European Commission fell (by £3.2 million and £3.6 million respectively), this was more than offset by a £3.3 million increase from charities and a £6.4 million increase from all other sources.
Research funding from industry remained flat for the year, however there was a £17.5 million increase in new research awards for future activity won from industry in 2017–18, a 38% increase compared to the average over the previous three years.
Number of donors
Diversifying our income
The College continues to focus on strengthening and diversifying its revenues in line with its 2015–20 Strategy. Increases of £3.8 million (39.2%) in rents receivable from commercial tenants; £3.9 million (7.2%) in income from residences, catering and conferences; and £1.7 million (10.6%) from consultancies and scientific services allowed us to more than offset a planned £2.1 million reduction in income from our joint medical school in Singapore. This means that Other Income remained broadly flat year on year, despite last year’s results being increased by a £4.1 million equity sale.
Income reported from donations and endowments is only recognised in the accounts once the College becomes entitled to the income; there can therefore be a timing difference between when a donor pledges a donation and when it is recognised. This year, for example, income recognised was £63.7 million, a slight rise of £1.6 million (2.6%) on last year.
However, income pledged was £59.3 million, well ahead of the £51.5 million secured last year and an almost four-fold increase on the annual average of £17 million in the years 2004–14. Pledges of donations under £10 million have increased from £5.6 million in 2012–13 to £34.1 million in 2017–18, with the number of donors increasing by almost 8,000 in the corresponding period.
The largest donation recognised this year was £17.2 million from the Imperial College Trust, an independent charity set up to further the purposes of the College. This year’s largest pledge was a landmark gift of £25 million from alumnus Marit Mohn in support of our fundraising campaign for the School of Public Health.
The campaign seeks to raise £100 million to fund a state-of-the-art hub for health and wellbeing research, outstanding education and community engagement at the College’s White City Campus. This gift will establish the Mohn Centre for Children’s Health and Wellbeing within the School, which will advance pioneering research, education and community engagement that will improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of childhood illness on both a local and global scale.