Heriot-Watt University Updated Financial Forecast



Heriot-Watt University has today confirmed the need to adjust its financial forecasts over the next two years.

This is a direct result of a number of factors, to both the University and to the wider Higher Education sector, including a shortfall in overseas fee-paying students due to a world-wide economic downturn, the ‘Brexit-effect' creating uncertainty affecting postgraduate uptake, the UK Government's immigration policies and messaging, a real-term reduction in 2016/17 in the finance received from the Scottish Funding Council in the price per funded place and a decline in the success rates in EU research grants - again a UK-wide issue.

As a result, a savings target of 6 per cent of income has been set - approximately 14 million pounds. To achieve this the University will now open an enhanced Voluntary Redundancy scheme, alongside other operational savings.

It is expected that the number of posts required to be met through the enhanced Voluntary Redundancy Scheme will be approximately 100.

The University's Executive team have also opted not to take any contribution pay rises or bonuses this year.

The University will now work closely with its Trade Unions to achieve the savings needed through the voluntary scheme.

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University said today;

"The need to change our financial forecasts are as a result of a number of factors – both at home and abroad – coming together this year.  We are immensely proud that for the last 15 years we have always worked within a financial surplus but this year we need to re-adjust our financial forecasts, and that will require savings to be made.

"Heriot-Watt University is distinctive by being a global university.  The major downturn in the oil and gas sector has had an impact on us, and on some of our activities.  But we are focused on working across our five campuses in Edinburgh, Galashiels, Orkney, Dubai and Malaysia to maximise our opportunities in each of our distinct locations.

"The strategic development of the University will continue to ensure delivery of key plans that are already in place that support our distinctly global offer, including investment in new student facilities, enterprise and research infrastructure.

"Our commitment to enhancing our students experience while studying with us will see the 10 million pounds investment in improving our teaching and learning facilities progress as planned this summer in Edinburgh, and a new Student Support Centre recently opened in Dubai.

"It is evidently clear from the work of our academics that Heriot-Watt University continues to bring solutions to many of our society's problems – be that though our work on tackling homelessness, to creating the technology that could revolutionise cataract diagnosis.  We are also immensely proud to have on our Edinburgh Campus Scotland's National Performance Centre for Sport, Oriam.

"Along with our Senior Team, I remain confident and ambitious for our University as we work together with colleagues to enhance our quality and core strengths across the whole Heriot-Watt community in its five locations."