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After many years of annual increases in increased income and expenditure, more staff and more students, the higher education sector in England (especially) faced a much less certain financial environment from 2012. There was on ongoing fall in income from the public sector, falling numbers of some types of students, particularly those studying part-time, uncertainty about EU students, staff and funding and much less certainty in general about the future make-up and nature of the sector as a whole.

Many of the changes introduced in 2012 are now fully incorporated in into the sector, at least at the aggregate level. The recent Augar Review of post 18 education and funding made a large number of recommendations that would directly affect higher education institutions in England These include:

    • a continued freeze on regulated fee income
    • a shift in funding from fees to direct Government grants
    • linking more funding to the cost and value of courses
    • directly linking teaching funding to the number of disadvantaged students
    • ending financial support for foundation years.

This note gives a short factual background on changes in income, expenditure and staffing since the sector took its present form in the mid-1990s. It also gives some information on variations between institutions. It includes data on all Higher Education Institutions in the UK.

The following Library notes give information on related topics:

Much of the pre-2017/18 information in this note is taken from the annual Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) publications Resources of higher education institutions and its replacement. HE Finance Plus Detailed free information for recent years can be found on the HESA website.

The most recent Patterns and Trends in UK Higher Education from Universities UK looks at 10 year trends in the sector and variations between institutions on a number of different indicators. The Office for Students publishes an annual financial assessment of the sector in England. The latest version is Financial sustainability of higher education providers in England.

 

The following Library notes give information on related topics:

Much of the information in this note is taken from the annual Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) publications Resources of higher education institutions and its recent replacements. A limited amount of free information can be found on the HESA website.

The most recent Patterns and Trends in UK Higher Education from Universities UK looks at 10 year trends in the sector and variations between institutions on a number of different indicators. The Higher Education Funding Council for England publishes an annual financial assessment of the sector in England. The latest version is Financial results and TRAC outcomes 2014-15, forecasts are given in       Financial health of the higher education sector: 2014-15 to 2017-18 forecasts


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Related posts

  • This House of Commons library paper gives an overview of the first sale of a tranche of English income-contingent student loans. It gives background to the sale and discusses the impact of the sale on borrowers and whether value for money was achieved by the sale. The Government announced the end of the sales programme in Budget 2020.

  • Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic there have been concerns about the financial impact on universities. Much of this has focussed on the potential loss of international students, but there could also be losses in income from lower home student numbers, a drop in research work and less revenue from accommodation, catering and conferencing. What are the size of these impacts and what has the Government done to support the sector?

  • Higher education underwent fundamental changes to how it was financed in England 2012. There have been ongoing smaller changes since then and prospects for much larger changes following the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding. How has this affected the balance between the broad sources of funding -the taxpayer and graduate and how has the total funding from all sources for universities changed?