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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Universities UK submission to the 2013 Spending Round

Report
16 May 2013
Universities UK’s submission to the government’s 2013 Spending Round sets out why and how universities are critical to maintaining the UK’s economic competitiveness.

Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance

Report
21 May 2010
Our submission to the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance. This is our second submission to the Browne Review.

Blog

Hyperbole and illegal cartels – the latest attack on the university sector

5 September 2017
UUK's Director of Policy, Chris Hale, stresses the importance of using language carefully and responsibly when discussing key issues for the higher education sector.

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.

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.

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