Key facts and figures about UK higher education, from the numbers of undergraduate and postgraduate students to how much universities contribute to the UK economy.
In 2018–19, there were 165 higher education institutions in the UK that returned data to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This webpage includes data from these institutions, plus the University of Buckingham. For further information on higher education institutions visit
In 2018–19, there were 2.38 million students studying at UK higher education institutions.
(Source: HESA Student record 2018–19)
In 2018–19, there were 439,955 staff (excluding atypical staff) employed at UK higher education institutions.
HESA Staff record 2018–19)
The latest National Student Survey, published in 2020, found that 83% of students were satisfied with the quality of their course.
(Source: 2020 National Student Survey)
(Source: UCAS 2020 End of Cycle data resources).
A record 570,475 people were accepted through UCAS to start an undergraduate course in the 2020 cycle.
(Source: UCAS 2020 End of Cycle report)
(Source: HESA Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey 2018–19)
Figures for 2017–18 show that the total income for the sector was £38.2 billion. This was made up from the following sources:
HESA Finance record 2017–18)
In 2014–15, universities across the UK generated £95 billion in gross output for the economy.
UUK (2017) The economic impact of universities in 2014–15)
The 2014 Research Excellent Framework rated 76% of the research submitted as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'. (Source:
Research Excellent Framework (REF) 2014)
Neither the Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited nor HESA Services limited can accept responsibility from any third parties from data or other information obtained from Heidi Plus.