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.

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.

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.

Report page

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.

Report cover

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.

Report cover

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.

Blog

Five things the university funding review must do

19 February 2018
Today, the Prime Minister launched the government's review of post-18 education and funding in England. UUK's Deputy Director of Policy Julie Tam sets out five things the review must do.

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.

News

Review must address confusion about tuition fees system

3 May 2018
The government’s review of post-18 education funding in England must address the lack of clarity around tuition fees and the costs and benefits of higher education, according to Universities UK.

UUK response to Treasury Committee recommendations on government's major review of university funding

UUK response to recommendations on major review of university funding

18 February 2018
UUK responds to the Treasury Committee recommendations on the government’s major review of university funding

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