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.

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.

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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.

Report page

Strategic fundraising

Report
26 August 2014
For senior leaders in universities who are considering scaling up their fundraising function, looking at when to invest or seeking to ensure continuous, sustainable growth.

Report page

Trends in undergraduate recruitment

Report
7 August 2014
This report examines trends in UK- and EU-domiciled undergraduate recruitment to higher education institutions in England and the challenges they present.

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Research and postgraduate research training

Report
12 June 2014
The benefits of a strong research base are long-lasting; they foster economic growth and bring myriad benefits to society and individuals' lives.

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Postgraduate taught education: the funding challenge

Report
29 May 2014
Postgraduate taught education is a diverse area of higher education provision that brings enormous benefits to individual graduates, to the economy and to society.

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The funding challenge for universities

Report
7 November 2013
In the wake of significant reforms to the ways universities are funded, both universities and government are faced by a number of challenges and financial pressures.

Report page

Where student fees go

Report
10 September 2013
The way English universities are funded to teach full-time UK and EU undergraduate students has shifted rapidly, from government funding to income from student fees. Universities are often asked to explain how they are using the income from variable fees.

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The funding environment for universities

Report
5 June 2013
A sustainable funding environment is crucial for the UK’s universities to be able to maximise their contribution to economic growth.

Blog

HM Treasury

The chancellor’s budget dilemma: four ways universities can help

10 November 2017
UUK's Alistair Jarvis sets out our areas the chancellor should consider when he delivers the budget 2017.

Brighton rock and cough drops: UUK at the party conferences

5 October 2017
Mark Condren, UUK's Political Affairs Officer, highlights key points for universities in recent party conference speeches and fringe events.

News

Comment on IFS research on student loan interest rates and reintroducing maintenance grants

17 November 2017
Response to the new analysis from the IFS looking at options for reducing the interest rate on student loans and reintroducing maintenance grants in England.

Employers propose reforms to ensure USS pension scheme remains sustainable and attractive to members

17 November 2017
Higher education employers are proposing changes to the USS pension scheme to address the scheme's deficit and the significant rise in the cost of future pensions.

The team

Rosalind Lowe

Rosalind Lowe

Policy Researcher
Universities UK

Jovan Luzajic

Jovan Luzajic

Senior Policy Analyst
Universities UK

Julie Tam

Julie Tam

Deputy Director of Policy
Universities UK

Martina Tortis

Martina Tortis

Policy Analyst
Universities UK

Daniel Wake

Daniel Wake

Policy Analyst
Universities UK