We are very disappointed there has been misleading BBC coverage about the University and we have asked for it to be corrected.

The University of Essex is not in deficit this year and we don’t expect this to be the case next year. We are taking precautionary steps to respond to a possible reduction of nearly £14m in income next year. The measures are reversible but will allow the University to generate a small cash surplus of 2% in the Academic Year 2024/25, ensuring our finances remain on a sustainable footing and we meet all our banking covenants.

As colleagues within the University felt they had been misled by the coverage, we are equally concerned about the impact this reporting could have on applicants and partner organisations. As such, we wanted to use this opportunity to set the record straight and allay any unwarranted concern about the University’s financial position.

Whilst UK undergraduate student number projections for next year look very positive, uncertainty remains about international student recruitment. To ensure we take into account on-going uncertainty about international recruitment, which is a UK sector wide issue, we are taking a series of reversible steps, as a precaution, to ensure we manage any risks from this uncertainty and deliver a cash surplus.

Key to our approach is that if student enrolments are higher, a number of these decisions are reversible. In order to protect both academic and professional services jobs, and our capacity to bounce-back, we are not opening voluntary severance or compulsory redundancy schemes – and our three-year forecast indicates that a return to a growth trajectory is likely.

We are continuing to take a range of initiatives to embrace new opportunities, and these include work on the curriculum review, academic framework, developing new forms of transnational education/short courses and apprenticeship growth, new forms of income generation and adapting the way we offer services to staff and students. This continues to be absolutely vital work in ensuring that we safeguard the student experience and protect jobs and the current range of subjects and disciplines we have within the University.