The Pembroke Leavers’ Group, 2015–16: Financial Information


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How is the College funded?

For the year 2014–15, Pembroke had an income of £14.7 million. This may sound like a lot, but £14.7 million was also spent or invested. Here we will briefly explain where that money came from, what it was spent on, and why we need extra help.

Income comes from:

  • Development: donations, bequests and corporate partnerships (20% or £3m). This is one of our biggest sources of income, which is why it is so important to us. £1.3m of this was invested in the endowment (see below).
  • Student fees and rents (33% or £4.8m). The thousands we pay each year are in reality only a small fraction of what the College needs to keep going. Some of our fees go to the University while Pembroke also gets a proportion for supervisions, Directors of Studies and tutors. Pembroke has some of the cheapest accommodation rates among Cambridge colleges.
  • The endowment (16% or £2.4m). This is all the College’s invested savings, which currently total £72.7m. Although this seems like a gold mine, we have to keep this money invested so that we can skim off some of the interest each year (3.4% or c. £2.4m), and keep doing this for future generations. The interest generated by the endowment is only a small proportion of what the College has to spend each year to function.
  • International Programmes (23% or £3.3m). Pembroke’s programmes, which operate mainly in the summer, are academic in nature. They generate £1m profit which is put back into the College. Pembroke uses its resources efficiently throughout the year so even though our endowment isn’t as large as some, our hard work creates income that helps make up for that. The knock-on effect is an improved, all-year-round service for our students.
  • Catering, bar, conferencing and other (8% or £1.2m). This may seem like a substantial sum, however, catering is subsidised for students; Pembroke subsidises all College events to the tune of £0.7m each year.

Income is spent on:

  • Wages (25% or £3.7m), for example, for Porters, maintenance staff, Housekeeping, catering staff and other departmental staff.
  • Stipends (13% or £1.9m). Although most academic salaries are paid by the University, the College employs some academic staff and also Research Fellows. Payments to DoSses, tutors and supervisors also fall under this heading.
  • International Programmes (16% or £2.3m). Although they generate a lot of income, not all of that is profit. Expenses are incurred in running the courses, e.g. paying lecturers and programme assistants, and housing some students at other colleges. This also includes the cost of permanent staff.
  • Investments (9% or £1.3m), for example, back into the endowment to ensure that we can maintain income from it for future generations. Ideally, we should try to grow the unrestricted endowment; were it larger, then the College would be less reliant on generating income from other sources (some colleges are more reliant on their endowment). With this long-term goal in mind, we aim to add £2m to the endowment each year (including restricted and unrestricted gifts). Restricted gifts have to be invested according to the donor’s wishes.
  • Kitchen and bar (7% or £1m). Money is needed to buy the food and drink they sell!
  • Discretionary spend on and repairs and refurbishment of hostels, rooms and College buildings (8% or £1.2m). The College has an ongoing commitment to maintain the quality of the accommodation we have but this comes at a significant cost. Discretionary spend is generally used for large one-off projects such as refurbishing the Old Library.
  • Trust funds (6% or £0.9m): money that is ring-fenced for studentships, hardship payments and other (mostly) student payments.
  • Other (16% or £2.4m) on miscellaneous things from furnishing rooms to paying for heat and light.

The cost of education:

Pembroke has estimated total allocated College costs of £7.6k p.a. per undergraduate and £4.9k p.a. per graduate student. In the case of an undergraduate student, the College only receives £4.5k of your £9k fee p.a. (the University receives the balance), so the College has to contribute £3.1k towards your tuition and other educational services p.a.. Once accommodation and catering subsidies have also been taken into account, the College spends approximately £4k p.a. on each of its undergraduates. The College spends closer to £3k p.a. on each graduate student (it receives approximately £2.5k worth of fees p.a. from each graduate student). College makes up this funding gap from its income: money that is drawn down from the endowment, from donations to the Annual Fund, International Programmes and conferences.