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.

Report page

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.

Report page

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.

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