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.

Consultation front page

Universities UK response to government consultation on postgraduate doctoral loans

Consultations and responses
17 December 2016
We welcome the introduction of postgraduate doctoral loans, but have points to raise concerning their design and implementation.

UUK response to HEFCE consultation

Universities UK response to HEFCE's 'funding to support teaching in higher education' consultation

Consultations and responses
26 July 2016
Universities UK has responded to HEFCE's 'funding to support teaching in higher education' consultation.

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.

Blog

Budget 2018 – key points for universities

30 October 2018
While there were no headline policies on higher education this year, Mark Condren digs into the documents underpinning the Budget to find announcements of interest to universities.

Have we "miseducated a generation" about student finance?

20 June 2018
A survey of students by Universities UK and the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) reveals that many students are not aware that student loans differ to conventional 'debt'.

News

Government review is a fantastic opportunity to improve the university system for students

5 September 2018
Government must aim to create a sustainable university funding system in England, which supports learners from all backgrounds to reach their potential.

Students need better information about tuition fees and student loans – new survey

20 June 2018
Students need clearer and more accurate information about tuition fees and student loan repayments to help them decide whether to apply for a university course, according to a new survey of students.

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