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 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

First thoughts on Augar: plenty to discuss, but we must protect opportunity and choice

30 May 2019
Universities UK's Director of Policy Chris Hale takes a first look at the Augar review's long-awaited recommendations.

Purchasing power: how university procurement teams benefit students and society

29 March 2019
We all benefit from effective purchasing by university procurement teams, writes Professor Nick Petford.

News

Top-up guarantee needed from government if fees are cut, warns UUK

30 May 2019
Responding to the review of post-18 education and funding's publication, Universities UK is calling on the government and next prime minister to consider fully the potential consequences of the recommendations for students and our higher education sector.

Universities UK response to government release on financial sustainability of universities

25 May 2019
Universities UK has responded to comments made today (25 May 2019) by Education Secretary Damian Hinds on university finances and challenges currently facing the sector.

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