The country's largest university, University College Dublin (UCD) recorded more than a fourfold increase in pre-tax surplus to €34.9 million last year.
New accounts for UCD show that the college recorded the surge in profits after revenues increased by 10 per cent - or €58.8 million - to €638.39m in the 12 months to the end of September 2021.
The pre-tax surplus of €34.9 million followed a pre-tax surplus of €7.93 million in 2020 - an increase of 340 per cent.
The university achieved the increase in profits and revenues despite no on-campus teaching taking place for the vast proportion of the year under review due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
UCD’s costs for the year under review increased by 5 per cent from €572 million to €603.9 million.
In his President’s Report, Prof Andrew Deeks said that the improved financial performance for the year is primarily driven by a €20.6 million growth in student fee income to €260.6 million.
UCD’s finances also benefited from State Grant funding increasing by €3.9 million to €86.1 million while Research Grants and Contracts increased by 15 per cent from €86.3 million to €99.43 million.
The number of international students last year totalled 7,239 representing 24 per cent of all students compared to 8,574 international students representing 29 per cent of all students in 2020.
Prof Deeks said: "Expenditure is expected to increase in future years as additional faculty are recruited and on-campus operations return to pre-Covid-19 levels."
On the impact of Covid-19, Prof Deeks reported that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the university’s ability to earn income from its student residence and from its on-campus commercial operations due to the closure of facilities for part of the year.
The accounts show that revenues from campus residences last year declined by 30.5 per cent from €20.09 million to €13.9 million while catering and conference income reduced from €2.9 million to €1.1 million.
Return to campus
Prof Deeks said the return of face-to-face teaching in September 2021 and lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions at the end of February 2022 has aided in the recovery of on-campus commercial operations.
He said that the university maintains that as a result of its healthy cash balances and continued cost control and a return to a pre-Covid 19 operating environment, it can sustain its operations for the foreseeable future.
In the role since 2014, Prof Deeks’s salary for the year was €211,742 and Prof Deeks has stepped down in recent days to take up a new appointment at Murdoch University, Perth in his native Australia.
The university's biggest cost last year was staff costs increasing by 5.5 per cent from €337.9 million to €356.39 million.
Staff numbers at UCD last year reduced by 193 from 5,278 to 5,085. The pay-bill for key management personnel totalled €2.17 million.
Overall across the campus, 16 members of staff earned between €200,000 and €300,000 with a further 112 earning between €150,000 and €200,000 and 415 earning between €100,000 and €150,000.