In 2020 – never before have we educated so many

The year 2020 was very special for both students and employees in that it presented great challenges due to the current pandemic. The rapid decisions and restrictions from the government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden meant that teachers and students had to make the change to remote teaching and examinations, sometimes with very short notice.

"It has been a difficult year, yet the annual report shows that the university did really well," said Mats Tinnsten, Vice-Chancellor.

"If someone had told me at the end of 2019 that from 18 March 2020, we would make a complete change to remote operations for the entire university, I would have replied that this is not possible. The impossible proved possible and this is thanks to the amazing ability and effort of our employees and students," he continued.

Good finances

In 2020, the university reached the funding cap for the first time since 2016 and also educated even more students than the government had asked.

Magnus Bergenholtz, Controller, said "We have increased the number of students from 13,309 in 2019 to 17,435 students in 2020. We've never had that many students prior. Much of the increase has taken place in freestanding courses, but we are also seeing an increase in students in, for example, teacher education programmes, which in many previous years had few applicants.”

The university is also reporting a positive financial result for 2020. This is due to the government's investment in deficit professions and competence development (as a result of the pandemic) and that the university was able to use the saved reserve that the appropriations savings constitute.

"Much of the government's investment was in competence development and we started to develop our educational offerings a few years ago with more freestanding courses," said Magnus Bergenholtz.

He explains that when the university educates more students than asked, achievements can be saved, which means security for the university should the number of applicants decrease in coming years.

The good financial outcome for 2020 means that the university's administrative capital exceeds the guidelines of the Governing Board of the University of Borås. Since administrative capital is a saved reserve that can be used for various investments or to cushion any fluctuations, the university continues to have good opportunities for stable economic development in the coming years.

Glossary for university finances
Funding cap

Each college or university is allocated a funding cap that constitutes the maximum level of compensation for educational programmes from the government. The funding cap is calculated on the basis of different costs for the number of full-time equivalent students and annual performance equivalents reported. 

Full-time equivalent student and annual performance equivalent
A full-time equivalent student corresponds to a student enrolled for full-time studies during a school year, while the term annual performance equivalent equates to a full-time equivalent student who has achieved approved results for a full-time academic year, with the current system of 60 credits. 

Appropriations savings
When a higher education institution does not reach the funding cap, appropriations savings arise that can be used in the coming years when the institutions reports more full-time equivalent students and annual performance equivalents than can be accommodated within the funding cap. 

Administrative capital
Administrative capital means the accumulated surplus that has arisen as a result of a higher education institution not using all the resources for research and education and reporting a positive result.

Pandemic’s effect on exchanges and research

Something that has been greatly affected by the pandemic is the number of both incoming and outgoing students. In addition, research has decreased, although the university recruited more Senior Lecturers than in the previous year.

"Many teachers have had to spend more time on teaching and this has affected research," concluded Magnus Bergenholtz.

Read the full annual report here