How the University of Cyprus’ finances reportedly hit a €26.8 million deficit, a figure the rector did not confirm or deny amid calls for his resignation, came in for intense speculation on Wednesday.
Daily Politis a day earlier reported the university was considering the possibility of turning to its research grants to cover some of its immediate expenses. The paper suggested the annual grant the university receives was not even enough to cover staffing expenses.
Former UCy rector Constantinos Christofides lambasted the developments, arguing that during his time, the university was attracting funds from a number of sources. “In 2018, the university was a proud one that would create. The current situation is saddening.”
Christofides said that between 2011 and 2018, while he was rector, the university secured €40m in external funds. He alleged that during 2018-2022 the university has gotten almost nothing and even lost significant donors such as Bank of Cyprus, whose contribution amounted to €600,000.
“This is due to poor management,” he said calling on the current rector Tasos Christofides to resign from his post, saying it was evident he could not handle the issue of donations.
Politis cited information from the former rector that the university is currently facing a €26.8m deficit. Speaking to its radio show, incumbent Christofides said “no one knows yet if there’s a deficit. There needs to be a study to show us where we’re at.”
Accused of being very vague, Christofides said the €26.8m was a rough estimate provided by software which came into use in 2019 and is set to be fully operational this year. He declined to provide concrete answers on the state of the university’s finances, refusing to confirm the former rector’s claim that the university had a €51m surplus in 2018 when Constantinos Christofides left the post.
A report by the audit service showed the university before tax had a €2.6m deficit in 2019, and €4.6m in 2020.