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.

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.

UUK response to HEFCE consultation

Universities UK response to HEFCE's 'funding to support teaching in higher education' consultation

Consultations and responses
26 July 2016
Universities UK has responded to HEFCE's 'funding to support teaching in higher education' consultation.

University Funding Explained front cover

University funding explained

Report
20 July 2016
Universities raise income from a wide range of sources, and manage this funding to support their core activities. Any surplus income is used to improve teaching and learning, and to support local and national growth.

Report page

Why invest in universities?

Report
25 June 2015
Universities are essential for the UK's modern knowledge economy. The UK has a university sector that many other countries aspire to emulate.

Blog

HM Treasury

The chancellor’s budget dilemma: four ways universities can help

10 November 2017
UUK's Alistair Jarvis sets out our areas the chancellor should consider when he delivers the budget 2017.

Brighton rock and cough drops: UUK at the party conferences

5 October 2017
Mark Condren, UUK's Political Affairs Officer, highlights key points for universities in recent party conference speeches and fringe events.

News

Comment on IFS research on student loan interest rates and reintroducing maintenance grants

17 November 2017
Response to the new analysis from the IFS looking at options for reducing the interest rate on student loans and reintroducing maintenance grants in England.

Employers propose reforms to ensure USS pension scheme remains sustainable and attractive to members

17 November 2017
Higher education employers are proposing changes to the USS pension scheme to address the scheme's deficit and the significant rise in the cost of future pensions.

The team

Rosalind Lowe

Rosalind Lowe

Policy Researcher
Universities UK

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