The College's deficit is set to drop slightly in immediate years before growing again before 2030Louis Ashworth for Varsity

King’s College plans to raise some student rents and tourist fees amid a growing £500,000-plus deficit, according to financial documents seen by Varsity

The College’s “planning round” for the next academic year (2024/25), seen by Varsity, states that King’s “remains in deficit” of £550k for 2023/24, citing the “freeze on home undergraduate fees,” the cost of living crisis, and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among its causes.

In the planning round’s “summary financials,” the deficit is projected to fall to £57,798 in 2025/26, before steadily rising again each year. In 2028/29, which is where the projection ends, King’s projects that it will be in a deficit of £779,623.

The College’s planning round sets out its aims for the future, which are: “Investing in teaching, research, and pastoral care,” “Shifting towards ‘community’ and away from ‘commercialisation’,” and “Upgrading spaces and services essential to College life”.

The report notes in its “financial drivers” that 2023/24 saw “an increase in visitors’ income” of 79.2% from last year’s figures, due to “continued pricing increases” across visitor tickets and the college shop, bringing the total forecasted income from visitors to £3,384,710 for this academic year. The College will increase some tourist fees by 23% for the next academic year.

The College plans make £20,000 more available for conferencing and workshops for fellows, and to reduce student Formal Hall prices to £16. The proposals also note “an overall reduction in student rents this year,” though next year’s charges mark an increase for every undergraduate rent band, from 0.5 to 1.0%.

The plans note the College’s wish to “make changes in rent more predictable”. Last year, students threatened to withhold £143,000 in rent, following a 7.5% proposed increase.

The planning round also details the College’s costs, which forecasts a £265,129 spend on its famous chapel, which recently had solar panels installed.

The report also notes that the College’s “ambitious goal” of decarbonising by 2038 is “impossible without new funds”. This would cost King’s around £140 million by 2038, which is almost three-quarters of the College’s endowment.

In November, Varsity freedom of information requests showed that the College has invested £798,000 in Exxon Mobil, £660,000 in Shell, over £560,000 in Chevron, and another £907,000 between BP, Total, and ConocoPhillips.

The College is considering ditching an access scheme in order to better fund initiatives at King’s, according to Education Committee minutes, seen by Varsity.

The minutes say that “the Admissions Tutor is considering telling the University that King’s does not intend to continue funding” Target Oxbridge residentials, a widening access scheme which supports “Black African, Caribbean and students of mixed heritage to improve their chances of getting into the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.”


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The “£17,000-£19,000” that King’s spend on the initiative each year “could be used to help further other priorities and outreach programmes,” the minutes state.

However, the minutes go on to say that the Committee was advised that “now would not be the appropriate time to end King’s relationship with Target Oxbridge,” and that King’s should lobby the University to have “more of a say over the terms of any renewal of the University’s contract with the organisation in June.”

A spokesperson for King’s College told Varsity: “We do not comment on draft internal documents. We remain firmly committed to ensuring the College’s continued financial stability in support of our outstanding environment for teaching and research.”