Queen’s University projecting $29M deficit in 2020-2021

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Queen’s University has released its latest financial projections as it navigates the effects of COVID-19. The university is currently projecting a deficit of $29 Million, about $6 Million beyond its budgeted deficit. 

“The $5.6 million negative variance is largely the result of tuition and non-credit revenue shortfall due to lower-than-budgeted levels of enrolment, partially offset by savings and cost containment measures across the university,” the report said. 

The report comes after Statistics Canada released a report finding that universities risk losing between $300 million and $3.4 billion as a result of the pandemic.

According to the projection, non-credit executive programs and for-credit graduate programs face the most significant decline in revenue. Other areas, such as undergraduate for-credit courses faced declines due to lower international enrolment. However, this was partially offset due to increased domestic enrolment.

Athletics and Recreation departments lost $3.5 million due to memberships and programming cancellations. Research efforts have contributed to a slightly more favourable variance.

Housing & Ancillary services are projecting a $17.2 million loss, more than $16 million what had been budgeted. 

“Housing and Hospitality revenues are expected to be $52.8 million lower than budget. Residence occupancy is operating at approximately 40%, and activity in both event services and the Donald Gordon Centre is substantially lower than expected due to the pandemic,” the report said.

Typically, Housing and Ancillary services generates a surplus which is then used to fund other Student Affairs programs. This funding arrangement has been eliminated due to this year’s loss. 

Housing & Ancillary revenues are categorized withing a separate account in the university and are expected to be self-sufficient.

The university has created several cost cutting measures in order to maintain financial stability. Faculties & Schools have lost $14.1 million in budget allocations due to the recent cost cutting measures. The Faculties & Schools have reportedly implemented several mitigation measures which have improved the financial health of the departments.

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