Funding

A sustainable funding environment is essential for universities.

Universities receive income from diverse sources: students, businesses, government, charities, and from both domestic and international sources. Through careful and responsive financial management, universities use this income to:

  • deliver an outstanding learning experience to students, with high quality teaching
  • generate world-class research
  • maximise their contribution to the economy and society 

Universities' income is affected by government policies on the system of undergraduate and postgraduate student funding, and funding for research and innovation. Therefore these policies need to take into account their impact on the long-term financial sustainability of universities. 

Our work on university funding

We work to ensure the overall financial health of the higher education sector through:

  • Shaping government policies that affect the financial sustainability of universities. We work with HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England on the development and implementation of policies such as the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review.
  • Taking steps to improve the visibility and transparency of the financial management of universities.
  • Identifying risks to the financial health of the sector, opportunities to improve it, and helping universities develop their strategies in light of these.     

Our work on funding is overseen by our Funding Policy Network, chaired by Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath.

Industrial strategy regional briefings

The industrial strategy and universities: regional briefings

18 April 2017
At the local and regional level, universities support growth by providing and creating jobs, and leading on local economic and social issues.

Response to 'Building our industrial strategy: green paper, January 2017'

Consultations and responses
18 April 2017
The UK’s universities have a central role to play in the development of the government’s modern industrial strategy, and are essential to the UK’s productivity performance and long-term economic growth.

Universities UK response to government consultation on part-time undergraduate maintenance loans

17 December 2016
We welcome the proposed introduction of part-time undergraduate maintenance loans, and the positive direction of travel that they represent in relation to government policy towards part-time study.

Consultation front page

Universities UK response to government consultation on postgraduate doctoral loans

Consultations and responses
17 December 2016
We welcome the introduction of postgraduate doctoral loans, but have points to raise concerning their design and implementation.

UUK response to HEFCE consultation

Universities UK response to HEFCE's 'funding to support teaching in higher education' consultation

Consultations and responses
26 July 2016
Universities UK has responded to HEFCE's 'funding to support teaching in higher education' consultation.

University Funding Explained front cover

University funding explained

Report
20 July 2016
Universities raise income from a wide range of sources, and manage this funding to support their core activities. Any surplus income is used to improve teaching and learning, and to support local and national growth.

Report page

Why invest in universities?

Report
25 June 2015
Universities are essential for the UK's modern knowledge economy. The UK has a university sector that many other countries aspire to emulate.

Report page

Student Funding Panel: an analysis of the design, impact and options for reform of the student fees and loans system in England

Report
15 June 2015
Higher education transforms lives and provides the highly-skilled workforce needed by employers to thrive and for the UK to compete globally.

Report page

The economic role of universities

Report
11 June 2015
Universities increase skills, support innovation, and attract investment and talent.

Report cover

The impact of initial teacher training reforms on English higher education institutions

Report
30 October 2014
Analysing recent trends in recruitment following the changes and discusses the specific impact on institutions.

Blog

General election 2017: tuition fees under the spotlight

15 May 2017
Juile Tam, Assistant Director of Policy at Universities UK, discusses different policies on tuition fees and the implications for universities, government and students themselves.

Funders and universities must work together to build international partnerships

15 March 2017
Ahead of UUK's International Higher Education Forum, Ed Whiting from Wellcome Trust discusses the importance of global research partnerships.

News

Response to Labour policy on tuition fees

22 May 2017
If the current tuition fee and income-contingent loan repayment system in England were to be scrapped, the gap would need to be met in full from other sources of public finance.

New government investment in research and development ‘good news’ – UUK President

21 November 2016
Universities UK welcomed today the announcement from Prime Minister Theresa May that the UK government will increase its investment in research and development by £2 billion a year by the end of this Parliament.

The team

Rosalind Lowe

Rosalind Lowe

Policy Researcher
Universities UK

Jovan Luzajic

Jovan Luzajic

Senior Policy Analyst
Universities UK

Julie Tam

Julie Tam

Assistant Director of Policy
Universities UK

Martina Tortis

Martina Tortis

Policy Analyst
Universities UK