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Definitions: Finances

The Finance record is constructed each year to the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP). A fundamental review of the Finance record was completed in 2013/14, with the resulting changes implemented in a new specification for the 2015/16 collection, taking into consideration the changes from the implementation of Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) 102. Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) 102 is the new financial reporting framework for higher and further education providers for reporting periods starting on or after 1 January 2015. These new standards have introduced significant changes in the way financial performance is reported, which present difficulties in comparing 2015/16 results with historical trends, and in comparing results between providers. Some transitional changes reflected in the restated 2014/15 results mean this is also an atypical year.

We would therefore advise caution when undertaking time series and comparative analysis.

Finance coverage

The annual HESA Finance record is the main source of historical financial information on the total activities of all UK higher education providers (HEPs). The record provides data in respect of the consolidated income and expenditure account, consolidated statement of total recognised gains and losses, consolidated balance sheet and consolidated cash flow statement. The figures recorded for the consolidated income and expenditure account, balance sheet headings, statement of recognised gains and losses and cash flow statement should be the same as those recorded in the HEP's audited/published financial statements. The financial statements are prepared in accordance with the 'Financial Reporting Standard 102' (FRS102) and the 'Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting for Further and Higher Education' (SORP), published by Universities UK (SORP (2015).pdf), and comply with the financial reporting requirements contained in any UK legislation relevant to their constitution, such as the Companies Act and the Charities Act. The Finance record uses the principles in the SORP to analyse the financial statements in greater detail than is required for published financial statements.

A copy of the  c15031 template.xlsx, used by HE providers to return their data to HESA, can be downloaded from the HESA website. The complete coding manual can be viewed here. This coding manual contains guidance to HE providers for the return of their finance data, and includes all supporting documentation.

All values in the record are returned in units of £1,000 and where necessary rounded to the nearest £1,000.

Financial data relates to the HE provider's financial year 1 August to 31 July.

Higher education provider identifiers

Higher education provider identifier (INSTID) is the unique identifier allocated to providers by HESA.

UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) is the unique identifier allocated to providers by the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP).

For a list of the HE provider mergers and changes from the 1994/95 academic year onwards, please click here.

Country/Region of higher education provider

The allocation of a HE provider to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that HE provider. Regions in this context are the nine England Regions (formerly Government Office Regions) and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There may be students registered at HE providers who are studying in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the HE provider.

HESA allocates HE providers to Regions as follows:

North East (NEAS), North West (NWES), Yorkshire and The Humber (YORH), East Midlands (EMID), West Midlands (WMID), East of England (EAST), London (LOND), South East (SEAS), South West (SWES), Scotland (SCOT), Wales (WALE) and Northern Ireland (NIRE).

Please note that in an all published student data outputs for 2013/14 onwards, students enrolled at the Open University have been split into its four country campuses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In older years of data, students have been returned at its administrative centre which is located in the South East of England and is counted as a wholly English provider. For bespoke data enquiries, we can supply it as the client wishes including retrospective data extractions. 

Income

Income

Total income identifies the gross income position, i.e. it includes income attributable to a share in joint venture(s).

Less: share of income in joint venture(s) is used to deduct the share of income in joint venture(s) from the total income.

Net income is total income less the share of income in joint venture(s).

Joint venture is an entity in which the reporting HE provider holds an interest on a long-term basis, and is jointly controlled by the HE provider and one or more ventures under a contractual arrangement. The HE provider's share of income (and expenditure) should be recognised in the HE provider's income (and expenditure) account.

Surplus/(deficit) for the year is calculated as net income minus total expenditure.

Sources of income

Income is analysed by six main sources:

  1. Tuition fees and education contracts
  2. Funding body grants
  3. Research grants and contracts
  4. Other income
  5. Investment income
  6. Donations and endowments

The total of each of these headings should be the same as the HE provider's financial statement, showing the gross position for the HE provider.

1. Tuition fees and education contracts

This includes all income received in respect of fees for students on all courses for which fees are charged. Prior to 2015/16, where fees are waived in whole or in part, the income due, though not received, is included. From 2015/16, where the amount of the tuition fee is reduced or, in substance, the right to consideration of tuition fees is reduced, income receivable is shown net of the discount.

The source of tuition fees and education contracts includes the Student Loans Company (SLC), Local Education Authorities (LEA), Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), the Department for Education Northern Ireland (DfE(NI)), the Department of Health (DH) (including the National Health Service (NHS) and NHS Trusts), Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) or Scottish Health Directorate, plus other sources not listed, including individual students.

Following the introduction of variable student fees in the 2006/07 academic year for HE providers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, this information is administration specific. From 2008/09 postgraduate fee income from research and taught students has been separated.

Administration specific home domicile and EU domicile categories may be grouped as full-time undergraduate, full-time postgraduate, part-time undergraduate and part-time postgraduate HE course fees.

Non-EU domicile includes fees for all HE courses for students whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was outside the EU.

Non-credit-bearing course fees includes all fee income received in respect of non-credit-bearing liberal adult education, continuing education or extra-mural courses.

FE course fees includes fee income received for the provision of FE/non-advanced courses.

Research training support grants includes all income from charities (awarded by open competitive process) for general research studentships, and all grants made by Research Councils and other bodies in support of the training of research students, including the tuition fee element.

The definitions of domicile, mode, and level of study are consistent with the HESA Student record linked below:

Domicile

Mode of study

Level of study

2. Funding body grants

Funding body grants includes 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 National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the Department for Education Northern Ireland (DfE(NI)).

From 2015/16, funding body grants are split by the country of the provider. Guidance on what is contained in each heading specific to a country may be found here.

3. Research grants and contracts

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

BEIS Research Councils, the Royal Society, British Academy and The Royal Society of Edinburgh
This includes all research grants and contracts income from Research Councils sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), The Royal Society, British Academy and The Royal Society of Edinburgh, returned to HESA under the following categories:

  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
  • Other (i.e. sponsored research grants and contracts income not included above).

UK-based charities includes all research grants and contracts income from all charitable foundations, charitable trusts, etc. based in the UK which are registered with the Charities Commission or those recognised as charities by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) in Scotland. Income from UK-based charities is split between those with an open competitive process for the allocation of funds and other charities.

UK-based charities (open competitive process) includes research grants or contracts income from UK-based charities that was available to more than one HE provider through direct competition, awarded to the HE provider that demonstrated the highest quality research proposal according to external peer review. It also includes grants where it can be shown that the charity took external expert advice on its choice of HE provider, and either the charity had made it known that it was open to grant applications from other HE providers, even though an open invitation to bid for the particular grant was not issued; or the charity restricted the funding opportunity on a reasoned basis in that particular requirements of the project could only be met by a limited number of HE providers (i.e. where a project required highly specialist expertise or facilities, or a specific regional focus). Income awarded by the Education Endowment Foundation is included under this heading where funding originated from grants made by non-government sources.

UK-based charities (other) includes research grants or contracts income from UK-based charities that does not meet the definition of open competition.

UK central government bodies, local authorities, health and hospital authorities includes all research grants and contract income from UK central government bodies, UK local authorities and UK health and hospital authorities, except Research Councils and UK public corporations. This includes government departments and other organisations (including registered charities) financed from central government funds. Research grants and contracts from non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) such as the British Council are also included in this source of income.

UK central government tax credits for research and development expenditure

Research Development Expenditure Credit Scheme (RDEC) income.

RDEC is a HMRC research incentive scheme and relates to the level of eligible research expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2013. Treatment of this item will be consistent with the audited accounts. BUFDG advise that the gross claim is expected to be payable after a tax deduction (previously, there was a published tax figure of 10%, but following updated advice, a figure will no longer be published). the payment is an incentive scheme rather than reimbursement of research expenditure or a refund of taxation. Gross income from the RDEC scheme is included as research grants and contracts income from government with the value of tax deducted shown as taxation.

UK industry, commerce and public corporations includes all research grants and contracts income from industrial and commercial companies and public corporations (defined as publicly owned trading bodies, usually statutory organisations with a substantial degree of financial independence) operating in the UK.

EU government bodies includes all research grants and contracts income from all government bodies operating in the EU, which includes the European Commission, but excludes bodies in the UK.

EU-based charities (open competitive process) includes research grants or contracts income from EU bodies with exclusively charitable purposes (consistent with the definition set out in the Charities Act 2011 and which exists for the public benefit in a manner which is consistent with the Public Benefit Guidance published by the Charity Commission for England and Wales), that was available to more than one HE provider through direct competition, awarded to the HE provider that demonstrated the highest quality research proposal according to external peer review. It also includes grants where it can be shown that the charity took external expert advice on its choice of HE provider, and either the charity had made it known that it was open to grant applications from other HE provider, even though an open invitation to bid for the particular grant was not issued; or the charity restricted the funding opportunity on a reasoned basis in that particular requirements of the project could only be met by a limited number of HE providers (i.e. where a project required highly specialist expertise or facilities, or a specific regional focus).

EU industry, commerce and public corporations includes all research grants and contracts income from industrial and commercial companies and public corporations (defined as publicly owned trading bodies, usually statutory corporations, with a substantial degree of financial independence) operating in the EU outside of the UK.

EU other includes all research grants and contracts income from EU-based non-competitive charities and any other EU income not otherwise specified.

Non-EU-based charities (open competitive process) includes research grants or contracts income from non-EU bodies with exclusively charitable purposes (consistent with the definition set out in the Charities Act 2011 and which exists for the public benefit in a manner which is consistent with the Public Benefit Guidance published by the Charity Commission for England and Wales), that was available to more than one HE provider through direct competition, awarded to the HE provider that demonstrated the highest quality research proposal according to external peer review. It also includes grants where it can be shown that the charity took external expert advice on its choice of HE provider, and either the charity had made it known that it was open to grant applications from other HE providers, even though an open invitation to bid for the particular grant was not issued; or the charity restricted the funding opportunity on a reasoned basis in that particular requirements of the project could only be met by a limited number of HE providers (i.e. where a project required highly specialist expertise or facilities, or a specific regional focus).

Non-EU industry, commerce and public corporations includes all research grants and contracts income from industrial and commercial companies and public corporations (defined as publicly owned trading bodies, usually statutory corporations, with a substantial degree of financial independence) operating outside the EU.

Non-EU other includes all research grants and contracts income from all non-EU-based non-competitive charities and any other non-EU income not otherwise specified.

Other sources, collected prior to 2015/16, includes all research grants and contracts income not covered above. This includes income from other higher education providers (HEPs) where the HEP is the original contractor.

Research grants and contracts income activities

Research grants and contracts income may be further analysed by the activities across which research grants and contracts income is received. This includes Academic departments, Academic services and Administration and central services.

Academic departments includes all income in respect of externally sponsored research carried out by, or on behalf of, academic departments (including departments of continuing education). There are 45 departmental cost centres to which this income can be attributed. These are listed under Expenditure activities Academic departments.

Academic services includes research grants and contracts income received by centralised academic services such as the library and learning resource centres, central computers and computer networks (including maintenance and operating costs), centrally run museums, galleries and observatories, and any other general academic services not covered elsewhere.

Administration and central services includes research grants and contracts income received for Central administration and services, General education expenditure, and Staff and student facilities as defined under Expenditure activities Administration and central services.

4. Other income

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

This category is split into:

BEIS Research Councils, UK central government bodies, local authorities, health and hospital authorities and EU government bodies includes all non-research income from UK central government bodies, non-departmental public bodies, UK local authorities and UK health and hospital authorities (except any included under tuition fees and education contracts), plus all non-research income from all government bodies operating in the EU, including the European Commission but excluding the UK. This includes European Social Fund (ESF) grants. Income awarded by the Education Endowment Foundation is included under this heading where funding originated from grants made by UK government sources.

Other includes all non-research income for services rendered to industrial and commercial companies and public corporations. It includes all validation fees for courses such as those run by other HE providers.

Other income - other includes all other income not included in other services rendered, which can be further disaggregated as below.

Residences and catering operations (including conferences) includes the gross income from residences, catering and conference operations.

Grants from local authorities includes income from local authorities providing capital or revenue for the purpose to which the grant will be applied.

Income from health and hospital authorities (excluding teaching contracts for student provision) includes income received from UK health or hospital authorities for the funding of any employees of the HE provider, including posts in academic teaching, except for those relating to the provision of a service, and excluding income provided for research.

Release of deferred capital grants includes a HE provider’s capital grant from a source other than a Funding Council, to finance, or partly finance, the construction or acquisition of a fixed asset.

Income from intellectual property rights includes all income received from intellectual property rights such as licences and patents.

Other operating income includes all other operating income not covered above such as Trans-European Mobility Scheme for University Studies (TEMPUS) and European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS+) grants. However, where a portion of a grant from one of these sources was granted for research (which satisfies the Frascati definition) and spent on research, that portion may be returned as research income under EU government bodies.

Where the heading Other income appears, this includes Other income - other services rendered plus Other income - other as defined above.

5. Investment income

This includes investment income from endowment funds, other investment income and other interest receivable.

6. Donations and endowments income

This includes donations (with or without restrictions) and endowment capital.

Expenditure

Expenditure (categories of)

Expenditure is analysed by five main categories:

  1. Staff costs
  2. Fundamental restructuring costs
  3. Other operating expenses
  4. Depreciation
  5. Interest and other finance costs

1. Staff costs

This covers the costs of all staff for whom the HE provider is liable to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions and/or who have a contract of employment with the HE provider, and includes any redundancy or restructuring payments (that are not treated as exceptional items or fundamental restructuring costs) made to these staff.

Academic staff costs includes costs in respect of academic professionals (Defined in the HESA Staff record as academic employment function 1, 2, 3 or 9 for 2012/13 onwards and Standard Occupational Classification Group 2A prior to 2012/13), whose primary function is planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and/or research, paid from within the budgets of academic departments and allocated to the appropriate cost centre. All academic staff are classified to this group regardless of their discipline, and this group includes medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals who undertake lecturing or research activities within the HE provider.

Other staff costs includes costs in respect of all other staff paid from within the budgets of academic departments and allocated to the appropriate cost centre.

Where the heading Staff costs appears, this includes Academic staff costs plus Other staff costs as defined above.

2. Fundamental restructuring costs

Fundamental restructuring costs are grouped with no breakdown by expenditure activity.

3. Other operating expenses

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.

4. Depreciation

This includes depreciation costs on capitalised equipment according to where the assets being depreciated are located (i.e. academic departments, academic services, administration and central services, premises, research grants and contracts or other expenditure).

5. Interest and other finance costs

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

Where the heading Other costs appears this includes Other operating expensesDepreciation plus Interest and other finance costs.

Expenditure activities

Categories of expenditure are further analysed by costs incurred from the activities associated with Academic departmentsAcademic servicesAdministration and central servicesPremisesResidences and catering operations (including conferences)Research grants and contracts and Other expenditure.

Academic departments

This includes all expenditure incurred by or on behalf of academic departments (including departments of continuing education), and expenditure incurred in connection with special and short courses which is not reimbursable by research councils or other bodies in respect of work carried out on their behalf.

HESA cost centres from 2012/13

HESA cost centres 2007/08-2011/12

Academic services

This includes expenditure incurred by centralised academic services such as the library and learning resource centres, central computers and computer networks (including maintenance and operating costs), expenditure on centrally run museums, galleries and observatories, and any other general academic services not covered elsewhere.

Administration and central services

This includes expenditure incurred by Central administration and services, General education expenditure, and Staff and student facilities.

  • Central administration and services includes expenditure in respect of central administrative staff and such payments to Heads of HE providers, Professors, Deans, Tutors, Faculty Officers and the like as are made in respect of central (as distinct from departmental) administrative work. This category also includes expenditure associated with the running costs of an administrative computer system and the following other costs if not charged to their relevant academic cost centre: public relations, advertising, recruitment, removal expenses of all staff, publications (excluding educational publications), rating or council tax advisors, security of wages, bank charges (excluding interest), central postage, superannuation management, expenses of head of HE provider, legal and audit fees, general insurance costs not included elsewhere and telephone costs where centrally charged.
  • General education expenditure includes expenditure incurred on examinations, fellowships, scholarships, prizes and other expenditure of a general educational nature. It includes the direct costs of examinations for example of external examiners, salaries, printing, etc. Also included are fee remission and provisions for bad debts in respect of unpaid fees and the following items that cannot be appropriately charged elsewhere: educational publications, public lectures, concerts and exhibitions, subscriptions and contributions to learned societies and similar bodies, contributions to representative bodies and agencies, works of art, contributions to the HE provider's press, research projects not returned under other heads, representation at conferences, explorations and expeditions, administration of non-departmental arts centres, widening participation activity and student recruitment costs from home and overseas.
  • Staff and student facilities includes expenditure incurred on the provision of facilities and amenities for the use of students and/or staff, e.g. Careers Advisory Service, all grants to student societies, emoluments to wardens of halls of residence, accommodation office, athletic and sporting facilities (excluding maintenance), transport, OTC (including Air and Naval squadrons), chaplaincy, student counselling, crèches and the HE provider's health service.

Premises

This includes all expenditure incurred (whether centrally or departmentally) on the management of premises (including academic buildings, central academic services, art centres, HE provider’s health service premises, pavilions, sports buildings, etc.) and on roads and grounds, except residences and catering.

Repairs and maintenance expenditure includes the maintenance of premises including the pay of staff involved (including estates administrative staff) and maintenance provision charges.

Other expenditure includes rates (the uniform business rate charged by local authorities), payments made for the rental of premises, recurrent costs of energy, water and sewerage, depreciation of all buildings except residential, catering and conference buildings, costs of insuring all premises and their contents, cost of cleaning (i.e. salaries, wages and materials, and payments in respect of contract cleaning) and the cost of portering and security services.

Where the heading Premises appears this includes Repairs and maintenance plus Other expenditure as defined above.

Residences and catering operations (including conferences)

This includes the gross expenditure incurred in providing the residence, catering and any conference operations, including the cost of maintenance of residential and catering premises, salaries and any other identifiable costs relating to these operations. The depreciation costs and financing costs of these operations are included in the appropriate categories of expenditure.

Research grants and contracts

This includes the total of the direct costs attributed to research grants and contracts as detailed for Research grants and contracts income.

Other expenditure

Pension cost adjustment includes any adjustment made to staff pension costs in the income and expenditure account (i.e. the difference between actual contributions made and current service cost figure).

Other includes the total direct costs attributed to other services rendered and all other expenditure not covered above.

Capital expenditure

This covers all expenditure which increases the value of a HE provider's (or a subsidiary undertaking's) fixed assets, including the purchase of land, buildings, and those items of equipment which are included in the HE provider's register of fixed assets and shown in the balance sheet.

Capital expenditure incurred is split into Residences and catering operations (including conference operations) and Other operations (non-catering and non-conference operations), each sub-divided into expenditure incurred on Buildings (land and building projects) and the purchase of Equipment. From 2015/16 onwards, Residences and catering operations is split further into Residences operations and Catering operations.

Sources of capital expenditure funding are categorised as:

  • Funding body grants includes capital grants allocated by the funding bodies, used to provide assets which have been capitalised.
  • Retained proceeds of sales includes the contribution from proceeds of sales of exchequer funded properties after surrendering the appropriate amount to the Treasury.
  • Internal funds includes the amount of internal funds utilised to finance expenditure.
  • Loans includes all sums borrowed from external sources to fund expenditure.
  • Leasing (from 2015/16)
  • PFI (from 2015/16)
  • Other external sources include amounts provided as bequests, donations or all other external sources.

Consolidated financial statement tables

In addition to the HE provider income sources and expenditure categories above, the Finance record contains figures for the full HE providers consolidated income and expenditure account, consolidated statement of recognised gains and losses, consolidated balance sheet plus consolidated cash flow statement. The re-stated figures for the previous financial year are also included. These figures should be identical to the HE provider's audited financial statements, and the definition of their data requirement can be found within the Guidance of the Finance record coding manual, available here.

Consolidated financial statements include the affairs of the group and the HE provider, whether channelled through the HE provider as an entity or through one or more associates, joint venture entities or subsidiary undertakings.

Key Financial Indicator (KFI)

The Key Financial Indicators (KFIs) are compiled using information provided to HESA as part of the HESA Finance record.

The KFIs shown are a set of ratios extracted from the Finance record. They are not performance indicators and take no account of provider-level characteristics such as the range of subjects taught or the types of provision.