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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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.

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Making it count: how universities are using income from variable fees

Report
29 January 2010
The future opportunities and challenges facing the UK university research base and makes recommendations as to how the system can respond to these.

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Gifts that grow

Report
21 May 2009
This publication gives case study examples of ways that universities have used the donations.

Attitudes to debt and term time work

Survey of higher education students’ attitudes to debt and term-time working

Report
23 November 2005
This study aimed to investigate full-time higher education students’ attitudes to debt and term-time working and their impact on academic studies and attainment.

Spending review 2004: achieving our vision

Spending review 2004: Achieving our vision

Report
12 February 2004
Achieving our vision', Universities UK's 2004 spending review submission for England and Northern Ireland, sets out the level of investment we believe is needed for the sector to achieve agreed objectives.

What's it worth front cover

What's it worth

Report
1 December 2003
What's it worth? The case for variable graduate contributions is the summary of a fuller piece of research by Nigel Brown.

Universities UK response to the future of higher education

Universities UK's response to 'The Future of Higher Education'

Report
1 April 2003
Universities UK's response acknowledges the positive aspects of the White Paper, but also highlights certain concerns.

Attitudes to debt front cover

Attitudes to debt

Report
1 February 2003
School leavers and further education students' attitudes to debt and their impact on participation in higher education.

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