The Erasmus Perspective was previously called ‘Kadernota’. In this document, the university looks at the financial projections for the coming four years. The money flow will increase in 2021 as the university is expecting more students and therefore a higher total of tuition fees and government funding. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will also be compensating for the increased staff and pension costs next year. Those two factors together equal an approximate increase in income of 16 million euros.
Even so, the university’s expenses in 2021 will be higher than its income: the EUR is expecting to spend 506 million euros. This is part of a conscious strategy: after years of highly positive financial results, Executive Board member Roelien Ritsma van Eck indicated last year that the university will be a little freer in its budgeting, to prevent the reserves from becoming too high.
Coronavirus crisis is the main factor of uncertainty
The Perspective has serious reservations, however, as the coronavirus crisis could still throw a spanner in the works. A cost analysis of the crisis is still being devised. “Covid-19 will certainly constitute a financial burden for the Erasmus University”, the memo reads. The university will look at a great number of factors, like research and graduation delays, a decrease in (international) students, empty student rooms on campus and required IT facilities for extra online tuition and examination. The income from parking and (cancelled) events will have significantly decreased. On the other hand, there will also have been significant energy savings in buildings and reduced travel costs.
The university has already given faculties the go-ahead to use the budget for quality agreements (improvements in education as compensation for the cessation of the basic grant) in 2020 for coronavirus-related education measures.
The university is not eligible for financial support from the emergency measure for temporary unemployment (the so-called NOW) from the government. Whether the commercial branches RSM BV and the EUR Holding are entitled to compensation is still being checked.