Prior to the pandemic, the College’s income from fees, investments, and commercial activities was sufficient to cover our operational expenditure. However, now we are working hard to meet the challenges posed by numerous external factors, in particular the significant reduction in most of our major income streams during the COVID pandemic period. Whilst some of those will return to pre-pandemic levels, some such as the commercial property income are unlikely to recover in the short to medium term. This impact has been further compounded by a very tight labour market which is driving up salaries, and the significant increase in inflation which is particularly affecting cost of heating and hot water as well as food and building materials.

Even so, we strive to adapt, transform, and lead the way in meeting the challenges of the future. To continue to push the boundaries of knowledge, and to provide an ever-more exciting and stretching learning experience for our students, we rely on your donations.

We are committed to providing an enriching personal as well as academic education for our students, and a supportive and inclusive environment for all our community members. We are also determined to ensure that no one is dissuaded from applying, taking up a place or completing their studies because of financial hardship.

Our income derives from student fees, accommodation and catering charges to members, conference and hospitality, investment income, and fundraising (donations and endowments). These charts represent the breakdown of income and expenditure in a typical pre-COVID year and during.

Income and expenditure in College [see Development Office for detail]

Donations from alumni and friends provide a significant part of our income, and are crucial to allowing us to fulfil our charitable purpose, including providing high-quality personalised teaching and an enriching environment.

Student fees only cover about half of the cost of providing education. We rely on income from accommodation, conferences, commercial property and dividends from investments, but also donations, to make up the difference. 

Donations in the last financial year (2020-21) have contributed to: 

Pie chart to show donations in last financial year (2020-21)

Donations and endowments from Sidney alumni and friends are vital to continuing to deliver our purpose and enrich the lives of future generations of students, maintaining Sidney Sussex College as a place of education, religion, learning and research.