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Release of 2007/08 HESA Finance Data reveals income of UK higher education sector up 10% in 2007/08

Data from the newly released HESA HE Finance Plus 2007/08 publication shows that the total income of UK higher education institutions exceeded £23.4 billion in the 2007/08 academic year. Income for the sector rose 10.3% from the 2006/07 total of £21.3 billion. Total expenditure in the sector saw a similar level of increase, rising 8.9% from £21.0 billion to £22.9 billion.

Funding body grants remained the largest single source of income, exceeding £8.5 billion for the first time and accounting for 36.3% of total income. Among other sources of income, endowment and investment income saw the largest percentage increase, rising 24.6% from £408 million in 2006/07 to £508 million in 2007/08. Endowment and investment income however contributed only 2.2% of the sector's income in 2007/08.

Sources of income for UK HEIs 2006/07 and 2007/08 (£thousands)




% change

Funding body grants




Tuition fees and education contracts




Research grants and contracts




Other income




Endowment and investment income




Total Income*




Source: HESA HE Finance Plus 2007/08

*includes income from joint ventures

Staff costs remain the most significant component of expenditure for HE institutions. Staff costs rose by 8.1% from £12.2 billion in 2006/07 to £13.1 billion in 2007/08, accounting for 57.4% of all expenditure.

Expenditure by type for UK HEIs 2006/07 and 2007/08 (£thousands)




% change

Staff costs




Other operating expenses








Interest and other finance costs




Total Expenditure




Source: HESA HE Finance Plus 2007/08

The HESA HE Finance Plus 2007/08 CD product includes finance data broken down to institutional level including tuition fees and education contracts, balance sheets, cash flow, capital expenditure, financial profiles and more.

HE Finance Plus 2007/08 is available to purchase from our site or by calling +44 (0) 1242 211155.

The HESA reference volume Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2007/08, due to be published in May, also contains data on HE finances as well as data on the HE staff workforce.

Notes for Editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
    • Simon Kemp
    • HESA Press Officer
    • +44 (0) 1242 211120
    • [email protected]
    • 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ.
  2. Where comparisons are made between the latest financial year (2007/08) and the previous year (2006/07), the previous year's figures are those reported in the re-stated financial statements.
  3. The data in this release relates to all UK HE institutions. Figures for the individual nations of the UK are available on request.
  4. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
  5. Definitions of the terms used above follow:

    Finance Definitions 2007/08

    Reference dates 2007/08

    Financial data relates to the institutions' financial year, i.e. 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008.

    Reference dates 2006/07

    Financial data relates to the institutions' financial year, i.e. 1 August 2006 to 31 July 2007.

    Sources of income

    Funding body grants

    Funding body grants include those from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (SFC), the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland (DEL(NI)).

    Tuition fees & education contracts

    This includes all income received in respect of fees for students on all courses for which fees are charged. Where fees are waived in whole or in part, the income due though not received is included.

    Following the introduction of variable student fees in the 2006/07 academic year for institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, this information is now administration specific.

    Research grants & contracts

    This includes all income in respect of externally sponsored research carried out by the institution or its subsidiary undertaking for which directly related expenditure has been incurred.

    Other income - other services rendered

    This includes all income in respect of services rendered to outside bodies, including the supply of goods and consultancies.

    Endowment and investment income

    This includes income from specific endowment asset investments, general endowment asset investments, other investment income and other interest receivable.

    Categories of expenditure

    Staff costs

    This covers all, and only, those full-time and part-time staff who have a contract of employment with the institution and includes any redundancy or restructuring payments (that are not treated as exceptional items) made to these staff.

    Other operating expenses includes costs in respect of payments to non-contracted staff or individuals, all other non-staff costs incurred, except for depreciation and interest payable. Equipment that has not been capitalised, expenditure on maintenance contracts and telephone costs (calls, rental and non-capitalised equipment) if not charged to departments, are also included in this category.

    Depreciation includes depreciation costs on equipment capitalised according to where the assets being depreciated are located.

    Interest and other finance costs includes costs in respect of interest payable on premises, residences and catering operations (including conferences) and other expenditure.


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