UCC’s acquisition of the Irish Management Institute (IMI) was a major driver of a 7.7% increase in the university’s income to €371.7m in 2017, according to its latest accounts.
However, UCC still reported a net deficit of almost €2.8m for the year ending September 2017 after a sharp rise in staff costs and other operating expenses. It followed a surplus of €562,000 the previous year.
Research income was also down 1.5% to €93.1m.
UCC’s acquisition of the IMI, including its 13-acre campus in Sandyford, Co Dublin, for €20m and the settlement of a long-standing pension issue were described as the key highlights of 2017 for the college.
UCC honorary treasurer Dermot O’Mahoney said the acquisition of the IMI had provided UCC with significant opportunities and would play a major role in "propelling UCC to the top of the executive education ranking in Ireland."
Revenues from the IMI contributed €10.9m to UCC’s income in 2017. UCC also spent €13m in 2017 on acquiring student accommodation at Victoria Mills.
In UCC’s latest annual financial statement, Mr O’Mahoney, said it was another successful year for the university with a growth in the number of students at both undergraduate and post-graduate level "despite the national funding difficulties."
Fee income was up €2.9m to €139.6m due to increased student numbers and higher course fees.
"Despite the academic and research successes, the failure nationally to agree a model and an appropriate level of funding for the university sector continues to threaten long-term sustainability," Mr O'Mahoney said.
"The absence of capital grants will be a real barrier to meeting future demographic demand, as the level of recurrent funding for students, accepted by all as being wholly inappropriate, will not sustain borrowings to fund essential infrastructural investment," he said.
He said a new sustainable funding model for the sector was urgently required from the Government.
UCC said wage costs increased by €5m in the period as a result of pay restoration, pay rises and an increase in recruitment.
A total of 178 UCC staff earned an annual salary in excess of €100,000 in 2016/17 compared to 158 the previous year.
UCC said it had also received a significant bequest during 2016/17 with overall donations totalling €2.7m.
Meanwhile, an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General found UCC had incurred significant expenditure on goods and services in 2016/17 which breached state procurement rules.