Updated Data Insights Now Available – Changing Patterns in University Revenues and General Operating Expenditures

CAUBO’s Data Insights series highlights key financial trends in the university sector. The Data Insights provide concise, yet fact-based analysis of some of the sector’s most pressing risks and challenges.

The first two entries in the series, initially released in 2021, address the changing patterns in spendable income and general operating expenditures. They have now been updated to reflect the most recent available data (2020-2021). The updated entries in the series are available at the links below

  1. Changing Patterns in University Revenues – addresses the ongoing shift in the composition of operating income at Canadian universities and underscores that tuition revenues have become increasingly consequential as government revenues continue to decline as a proportion of funding, focusing on the sector’s increasing reliance on more volatile sources of income such as those stemming from international students.
  2. Changing Patterns in General Operating Expenditures – examines the concurrent shift that has occurred in expenditures at Canadian universities, highlighting the factors that have driven changes in spending patterns between various expenditure types (including faculty compensation) and across functions.

As a reminder, a third entry in the Data Insights series, Implications of the pandemic on Universities’ financial situation, was released in the fall of 2022. The analysis explores the implications of the pandemic on universities’ financial situation and summarizes the notable differences in the growth rates and trends for spendable and restricted funds. The report provides context for the 2020-2021 university financial data, while positioning year-over-year shifts within the trends observed in the last decade and acknowledges the uncertainty that university-decision makers faced at the onset of the pandemic.