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HE Provider Data: Finance - new open data release

HESA’s new release of finance data reveals a total income of £38.2 billion for UK higher education providers in 2017/18.

In Scotland tuition fee income exceeded funding body grants for the first time, while in Northern Ireland funding body grants were the largest source of income accounting for one third of total income. Tuition fee income accounted for over half of total income in England and in Wales.

The total income from tuition fees and education contracts for the whole UK was £18.9 billion. Tuition fee income from non-EU students was £5.2 billion, accounting for 14% of total income. Tuition fee income from EU domiciled students was £1.1 billion, or 3% of total income.

Across the UK £6.2 billion of income came from research grants and contracts, of which 15% was from EU sources1.

The total expenditure of UK HE providers was £37.2 billion, of which 54% was allocated to staff costs. Interest and other finance costs totalled £0.8 billion – 2% of total expenditure.

Today’s release is the first time HESA has released its full Finance record as open data, freely available for re-use under a Creative Commons 4.0 licence. As well as income and expenditure analysis the release includes HE providers’ balance sheets, cash flow, and capital expenditure.

For the first time the data also includes information on the pay of vice chancellors, the number of staff paid over £100,000, and severance payments.

Most data tables in the release include four years of data. Older data is free to download from HESA’s publication archive.

If you have comments or suggestions about today’s release please give feedback via the Open data feedback form.



  1. EU sources’ includes EU government bodies, EU-based charities (open competitive process), EU industry, commerce and public corporations, EU (excluding UK) other.
  2. Specific sources of statistics in this release are:
    • Finances Table 1 - Consolidated statement of comprehensive income and expenditure year ended 31 July
    • Finances Table 6 - Tuition fees and education contracts analysed by domicile, mode, level and source
    • Finances Table 7 - Income analysed by source
  3. Figures in this release relate to the academic year 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018.
  4. See Definitions: Finances for full definitions of terms used in the release and explanation of the coverage of statistics.
  5. See Upcoming data releases for a schedule of Official Statistics releases from HESA.
  6. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
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