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.

The financial concerns students

The financial concerns of students

Report England
20 June 2018
Research by the National Education Opportunities Network and Portland Communications for Universities UK, which finds that students need better information about tuition fees and student loans when deciding to apply for a university course.

Universities UK response to the review of post-18 education and funding call for evidence

Consultations and responses
3 May 2018
Universities UK's submission to the government's review of post-18 education and funding, which includes a call for more targeted information to prospective students on the costs and benefits of higher education.

Parliamentary briefing: funding for higher education

Briefing
20 April 2018
A briefing outlining the government's review of post-18 education and funding, and the contribution of the UK's universities to the economy and society.

UUK response cover

Universities UK’s response to HM Treasury’s consultation Financing Growth in Innovative Firms

Consultations and responses
25 September 2017
Our response to the HM Treasury consultation ‘Financing growth in innovative firms’. We support the review’s goal to catalyse patient capital as an asset class that offers risk adjusted returns to investors, and its recognition of university spinouts.

UUK response cover

Universities UK representation to the Autumn Budget 2017

Consultations and responses
25 September 2017
Universities UK’s submission to the 2017 Autumn Budget sets out the central role that UK universities have in the development of the government’s industrial strategy, particularly across the themes of skills, innovation and research, and place.

Parliamentary briefing: The undergraduate funding system in England

Briefing
7 September 2017
A briefing for parliamentarians highlighting some of the strengths of the current funding system for undergraduate teaching in England, with a number of recommendations about how the sector can work with government.

Industrial strategy regional briefings

The industrial strategy and universities: regional briefings

18 April 2017
At the local and regional level, universities support growth by providing and creating jobs, and leading on local economic and social issues.

Response to 'Building our industrial strategy: green paper, January 2017'

Consultations and responses
18 April 2017
The UK’s universities have a central role to play in the development of the government’s modern industrial strategy, and are essential to the UK’s productivity performance and long-term economic growth.

Universities UK response to government consultation on part-time undergraduate maintenance loans

17 December 2016
We welcome the proposed introduction of part-time undergraduate maintenance loans, and the positive direction of travel that they represent in relation to government policy towards part-time study.

Consultation front page

Universities UK response to government consultation on postgraduate doctoral loans

Consultations and responses
17 December 2016
We welcome the introduction of postgraduate doctoral loans, but have points to raise concerning their design and implementation.

Blog

Have we "miseducated a generation" about student finance?

20 June 2018
A survey of students by Universities UK and the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) reveals that many students are not aware that student loans differ to conventional 'debt'.

Five things the university funding review must do

19 February 2018
Today, the Prime Minister launched the government's review of post-18 education and funding in England. UUK's Deputy Director of Policy Julie Tam sets out five things the review must do.

News

Government review is a fantastic opportunity to improve the university system for students

5 September 2018
Government must aim to create a sustainable university funding system in England, which supports learners from all backgrounds to reach their potential.

Students need better information about tuition fees and student loans – new survey

20 June 2018
Students need clearer and more accurate information about tuition fees and student loan repayments to help them decide whether to apply for a university course, according to a new survey of students.

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