1 December 2021 UUKi publications
1 December 2021 UUKi publications
16 August 2021 Data
16 August 2021 Data
Last updated on Tuesday 20 Dec 2022 at 10:24pm
An overview of the data on students, staff and university finances from our member institutions.
Record proportions of the most disadvantaged students began a full-time undergraduate course in the UK in 2020, across all four nations of the UK.
In 2020, median graduate salaries were £10,000 higher in England than non-graduate salaries.
In 2019−20, 15.8% of undergraduate students and 40.5% of postgraduate students at UUK member institutions were from outside the UK.
In 2019−20, nearly half of total expenditure was spent directly on teaching and research activities.
What data have we used?
Most data we’ve used refers to just our member institutions. This covers 140 universities and higher education providers in the UK.
The data we have used for each chart is clearly labelled and mostly comes from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) records, which covers a wider set of providers. The below charts show the proportion of student, staff and finance data within each of the public HESA records that is represented by Universities UK members.
In 2019−20, there were 2,413,155 students at UUK member institutions; an increase of 3.1% compared to 2018−19. Of these students:
The number of students studying full time has increased by 3.1% since 2018–19. Part-time numbers have decreased slightly (down 0.2% on 2018–19). In 2019−20, part-time students accounted for 36.9% of postgraduate students and 14.7% of undergraduate students.
In 2019–20, four fifths of students were studying full-time. 69.2% of students were studying for a first degree either full or part time, and a quarter (25.5%) were postgraduates. 'Other undergraduates' (which includes those studying for foundation degrees, diplomas in higher education, or Higher National Diplomas among others) were the most likely to be studying part time, followed by postgraduate taught students.
For the 2020 cycle, the total number of people applying for UK full-time undergraduate higher education courses increased by 3.2% on 2019, while total acceptances increased by 5.4%. The UK 18-year-old entry rate was also at record levels, with 37.0% of this group starting a full-time undergraduate course.
Record proportions of the most disadvantaged students began a full-time undergraduate course in the UK in 2020 across all four nations of the UK. The charts below show the proportion of 18-year-olds from the areas considered to be in the top fifth most disadvantaged areas who began a course.
In 2019−20, mature students (aged 21 and over) accounted for 57.5% of the student population at UUK member institutions. This includes 44.3% of students studying for their first undergraduate degree. Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students accounted for 25.1% of students living permanently in the UK.
In 2019−20, undergraduate student numbers were highest in the subjects of business, subjects allied to medicine and social sciences. Postgraduate numbers were highest for business, subjects allied to medicine and education. Psychology had the highest proportion of female students at 81.1% with the lowest found in computing, and engineering and technology at 19.8% each.
In 2019−20, 5.5% of undergraduates were from EU countries, while 10.3% were from outside the EU. Percentages for postgraduates were 6.8% and 33.7% respectively.
In 2019-20, UUK members awarded 761,215 qualifications.
In 2019−20, more than half (53.6%) of qualifications awarded by UUK member institutions were first degrees. 85.8% of qualifications awarded were for full-time study.
In 2019−20, 80% of graduates who responded to HESA's Graduate Outcomes survey were in employment or unpaid work. 19% of survey respondents were in further study, including those who were also in employment.
In 2020, median salaries for England-domiciled graduates were £9,500 higher than median non-graduate salaries. The graduate unemployment rate was 3.7%, compared to 5.3% for non-graduates, while the high-skill employment rate was 53.9 percentage points higher for postgraduates than non-graduates, and 41.5 percentage points higher for graduates than non-graduates.
In 2019−20, there were 409,055 staff at UUK member institutions, of these:
In 2019−20, over a fifth (22.2%) of staff at UUK member institutions had a non-UK nationality. Half (48.9%) of academic staff with a 'research only' function had a non-UK nationality.
In 2019−20, non-UK staff accounted for nearly half (47.2%) of academic staff in engineering and technology compared to 13.3% in education.
In 2019−20, 46.6% of academic staff at UUK member institutions were female, while 34.0% of staff were working part-time. 29.0% were 35 or under.
Although the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), professors has increased by nearly a third (32.2%) since 2015−16, they only accounted for 10.0% of professors in 2019−20. Over half (58.6%) were white males.
In 2019–20, the total reported income of UUK member institutions was £39.8 billion. Just over half of this income (£20.7 billion) was related to teaching, 15% was related to research (£6.1 billion), and 11% was related to knowledge exchange activity (£4.5 billion).
In 2019–20, our members' total expenditure was £36.4 billion. Nearly half (£17.5 billion) was spent on direct teaching and research activity, and over a tenth (£3.8 billion) was spent on libraries, IT and museums.
In 2019−20, three quarters of UUK members had an annual income of £100 million or more, with a similar proportion having at least 10,000 students.
In 2019−20, the total reported income of UK higher education institutions was £39.8 billion. Around half (£20.7 billion) of this income was sourced through tuition fees.
In 2019−20 around a third (32.3%) of teaching income was from international students from outside the EU. A third of research income came from research councils (33.6%), and nearly a quarter (23.3%) came from outside of the UK.
In 2019−20, over a third of knowledge exchange income came from collaborative research involving public funding. This includes collaboration with at least one non-academic partner, which can include businesses, the third sector, and the public. The estimated current turnover of spin-off or start-up firms based on providers' intellectual property, or started by staff, students or graduates increased significantly in 2019−20. Businesses associated with UUK members had an estimated turnover of £7.9 billion with the majority coming from staff start-ups (£2.8 billion) and student start-ups (£2.6bn).
In 2019–20, the total reported operating expenditure of UUK member institutions was £36 billion. Nearly half of this was spent directly on teaching and research activities. Other areas of spending include those that support teaching and learning, such as libraries and IT, maintaining campuses, providing financial support to students and student facilities.
A HESA field relating to staff with academic contracts. Categories are divided according to whether the contract is ‘teaching only’, ‘research only’ (no more than six hours of teaching per week), ‘teaching and research’, and neither teaching nor research. For more information visit HESA's website.
Cost centre is a financial concept which groups staff members to categories of spending. They enable analysis between the student, staff and finance streams. The cost centre groups are separate to the JACS/HESA codes due to the groupings and are therefore non-comparable. The reason they can't be compared and the breadth of the elements in this field is to replicate the way in which resources (including staff) can be split over multiple courses and the differences in the way individual higher education providers allocate them. For more information visit HESA's website.
A student’s permanent country of residence. This differs from nationality (see below).
The number of university entrants divided by the estimated base population.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is the designated data body for English higher education.
Occupations at this level are generally termed ‘professional’ or ‘managerial’ positions and are found in corporate enterprises or governments. Occupations include senior government officials, financial managers, scientists, engineers, medical doctors, teachers and accountants.
Activities that bring together academic staff, users of research and wider groups and communities to exchange ideas, evidence and expertise. Information on knowledge exchange activities is collected by HESA through their Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HEBCI) survey. For more information visit HESA's website.
Whether a student studies at undergraduate or postgraduate level. With these groupings, there are other levels such as ‘first degree’, ‘other undergraduate’, ‘postgraduate (research)’ and ‘postgraduate (taught)’. For more information visit HESA's website.
Whether a student studies full or part time.
A HESA field that records the legal nationality of staff. For more information visit HESA's website.
Participation of Local Areas (POLAR) is a widening participation measure which classifies local areas or ‘wards’ into five groups, based on the proportion of 18-year-olds who enter higher education aged 18 or 19 years old. These groups range from quintile 1 areas, with the lowest young participation (most disadvantaged), up to quintile 5 areas with the highest rates (most advantaged).
HESA codes each staff contract. Professor level is defined as ‘senior academic appointments which may carry the title of professor, but which do not have departmental line management responsibilities’. Other senior contracts include leadership and management responsibilities. These contracts may also be held by people who hold the title of professor. It is likely that the methodology undercounts the number of professors because many will fall into more senior levels, eg heads of department.
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation for 2016 is a widening participation measure that identifies small areas of multiple deprivation across Scotland and classifies them into five groups. These groups range from quintile 1 – areas identified as the most disadvantaged, to quintile 5 – areas identified as the most advantaged.
We have applied HESA’s Standard Rounding Methodology to all analysis of HESA data:
For more information, visit HESA's website.
HESA sources in this report are copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited.
Neither the Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited nor HESA Services Limited can accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from data or other information obtained from Heidi Plus.