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 and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the development and implementation of funding policies.
  • 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 David Phoenix OBE, Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University

Achieving stability in the UK higher education sector following COVID-19

10 April 2020
A proposal to government from Universities UK for a balanced package of measures to maximise universities’ contribution to the economy and communities following COVID-19.

report cover

A student finance national education programme

11 December 2019
In partnership with the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), Universities UK is calling for a Student finance national education programme.

A guide to presenting institutional financial information to students

Report
19 October 2019
A guide to help and support universities in explaining to students where their money comes from, how they spend it and how this adds value to the student experience.

Impact of the Augar review: an independent assessment

14 June 2019
This briefing provides an independent assessment, by London Economics, of the impact of proposals in the Augar review on the Exchequer, Students, Graduates and Higher Education Institutions.

example page from the report

Supporting universities to deliver skills, growth and improve lives

10 June 2019
Universities UK is highlighting five areas that the next Conservative party leader and prime minister should back to support UK universities. The new prime minister must support the continuing growth and opportunity of institutions in the UK.

Review of post-18 education and funding

24 May 2019
This briefing outlines the six tests which Universities UK thinks the recommendations of the upcoming review of post-18 education and funding need to pass if it we are to maintain quality, access and choice in post-18 education.

The financial concerns students

The financial concerns of students

Report England
20 June 2018
Research by the National Education Opportunities Network and Portland Communications for Universities UK, which finds that students need better information about tuition fees and student loans when deciding to apply for a university course.

Universities UK response to the review of post-18 education and funding call for evidence

Consultations and responses
3 May 2018
Universities UK's submission to the government's review of post-18 education and funding, which includes a call for more targeted information to prospective students on the costs and benefits of higher education.

Parliamentary briefing: funding for higher education

Briefing
20 April 2018
A briefing outlining the government's review of post-18 education and funding, and the contribution of the UK's universities to the economy and society.

Blog

The grades u-turn caused a ripple effect throughout education – it could be catastrophic for unis

25 August 2020
From over-stretched finances to lack of space and facilities, universities are facing a perfect storm of problems.

three students working at a computer

How we communicate student finance needs a rethink

16 December 2019
NEON's Graeme Atherton explains why the cost of higher education needs to be communicated to students more effectively.

News

UUK response to government's higher education restructuring plan

16 July 2020
Universities UK has responded to the government's announcement on the higher education restructuring plan

The team

Jovan Luzajic

Jovan Luzajic

Senior Policy Analyst
Universities UK

Julie Tam

Julie Tam

Deputy Director of Policy
Universities UK

Daniel Wake

Daniel Wake

Policy Analyst
Universities UK