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Income and expenditure of HE providers in 2016/17

The first release of finance data for UK higher education providers in 2016/17 reveals a total income for the HE sector of £35.7 billion.

Total income from tuition fees was £17.7 billion across the UK. Tuition fees represented 52.2% of total income in England and 55.9% in Wales. In Scotland and Northern Ireland funding body grants exceeded tuition fee income. £4.7 billion of income came from non-EU students' tuition fees. Sector level breakdowns are released today as part of Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2016/17, with the full HESA Finance data published in HE Finance Plus 2016/17.

Income of UK HE providers by location and category (£ millions)

2014/15 to 2016/17


The sector's total expenditure was £34.5 billion, of which £18.9 billion (54.7%) was spent on staff costs. 55.0% of staff costs were allocated to academic staff, and 45.0% to non-academic staff.

Expenditure of UK HE providers by location and source (£ millions)

2014/15 to 2016/17



HE Finance Plus 2016/17 contains the full finance record for UK higher education providers. Data includes detailed income and expenditure analysis, balance sheet, cash flow, and capital expenditure information.

Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom is published free of charge, as part of HESA's open data strategy. The publication will build over the year to cover all aspects of higher education data collected by HESA and others. Five tables of HESA finance data are published today under a Creative Commons 4.0 license alongside information previously released by the Student Loans Company and the OECD.


  • HESA finance data is collected from all publicly funded higher education providers in the UK, plus the University of Buckingham, which is a privately funded HE provider.
  • See Definitions: Finances for definitions of terms used in the release.
  • HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
  • Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 102 is the financial reporting framework for higher and further education providers for reporting periods starting on or after 1 January 2015. Data from 2014/15 included in this release conforms to FRS102. The change in reporting standards presents difficulties in comparing results with historical (pre 2014/15) trends, and in comparing results between providers. Some transitional changes reflected in the restated 2014/15 results mean this is also an atypical year.

About HESA

HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the recognised source of data on higher education in the UK. Its experts collect, analyse, and disseminate accurate and comprehensive statistical information on all aspects of UK higher education to support the strategic aims of its users and enhance the effectiveness of the sector as a whole. It is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. It operates as an independent organisation, working in collaboration with higher education providers, regulators, funders, government departments, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

Press Release

Press Officer