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Finances of Higher Education Providers 2016/17

The HESA publication Finances of Higher Education Providers 2016/17 summarises the income and expenditure of UK universities.

The online introduction includes breakdowns of expenditure by activity revealing that 37.7% (£13 billion) of HE provider expenditure in 2016/17 was made via academic departments. Medicine, dentistry and health were the highest spending group, accounting for 23.0% of academic department expenditure.

Expenditure through academic departments excludes spending on research grants and contracts, which accounted for a further £4.8 billion in 2016/17 (13.9% of total expenditure). The tree map below shows the breakdown of expenditure by activity in 2016/17 for UK higher education providers. Background data for the chart is available via Table J and Table K in the online introduction to Finances of Higher Education Providers 2016/17.


Expenditure of HE providers by activity



Other free tables from Finances of Higher Education Providers 2016/17 include sector level breakdowns of grant income, tuition fees, research grants, and other sources. Table 1 of the publication shows the income, expenditure and surplus/deficit of each UK HE provider.

The introduction and other free tables are available on the HESA website. As part of HESA’s planned open data strategy, next year’s Finances of Higher Education Providers publication will be a free open data release.



  • HESA Finance data is collected from all publicly funded Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) 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.
  • View the pre-release access list for this release.

About HESA

HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the recognised source of data on higher education in the UK, and the Designated Data Body for England. 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.

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