The funding challenge for universities

Report cover


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.







Drawing on research commissioned by Universities UK from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Demos, this report outlines: 

  • The economic challenge

    Income from increased student numbers under the new fee regime could help institutions cover the ongoing costs of provision, but additional funding for capital and infrastructure costs is required for the UK to continue providing a high quality student experience.

  • The funding challenge for universities in England

    Public funding sources are significantly constrained in their ability to support an increase in student numbers, and any increase in the higher education budget (outside of the student loans) to support an increase could result in cuts to other parts of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills budget.

  • The funding challenge for government

    Increased student numbers have implications for the sustainability of the loan system.

  • The funding challenges faced by other countries

    Other countries have used private sources of funding to sustain high levels of expenditure on tertiary education, but private sources potentially expose students to higher levels of debt and instability.

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