Where Does the Money Come From?
These charts show how the Higher Education (HE) Sector in the UK and how the University of Sheffield are funded.
On this page you’ll find a brief summary about each of these sources of income, or you can investigate the three main sources of income in more detail by clicking on the links. You can also find out What Does the Money Get Spent On?
Funding Councils Grants
The following organisations give grants for teaching and research to Universities in the UK:
- Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
- Scottish Funding Council (SFC)
- Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW)
- Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DELNI)
Want to know more? You can read more about How HEFCE Calculate Grants for Teaching and Research.
Most students pay a tuition fee as a contribution towards the cost of their course. The amount paid depends on:
- the level of the course (undergraduate or postgraduate)
- the place where the student normally lives (UK - home, European Union member state (EU) or other overseas country)
- the subject being studied
- the way in which the student attends the university (part-time or full-time)
Want to know more? Find out How tuition fees are calculated and paid to universities.
Research Grants and Contracts
Most Universities receive funding for undertaking specific research projects. The largest funders of this type of research at Universities in the UK are the Research Councils.
There are seven UK research councils that provide funds for research:
- Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Other research funders include charities, government departments, industry and commerce and the European Commission.
Want to know more? Find out about Funding of Research in UK Higher Education.
Endowments and Investments
Although not as significant a source of income as in other countries, endowments and investments are still an important source of funding for UK Universities. Many institutions have dedicated offices to encourage donations and legacies.
Other income for Universities includes income received for:
- providing accommodation to students
- consultancy services
- clinical services for the National Health Service