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

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.

Report cover

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.

Report cover

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

Student working on a bike

Funding for adult learners will boost the UK's economic recovery

30 September 2020
UUK's Julie Tam takes a look at the prime minister's announcement of a lifetime skills allowance, and what it means for the economy, society, and individuals.

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.

News

Majority of adult learners would upskill at university if given the chance

21 October 2020
New polling by Savanta ComRes for Universities UK has revealed that 82% of prospective students in England who are either unemployed, at risk of unemployment, or looking to learn new skills would be keen to study individual modules of a university degree.

UUK response to prime minister’s speech on adult learning and skills

29 September 2020
Commenting on the Prime Minister's speech on adult learning and skills, Professor Julia Buckingham, the President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University London, said it could benefit millions of adults

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