Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 13:43 UK

UK universities' income up by 8%

Tuition fees are a growing part of university income

The total income for universities in the UK rose by £2bn over the course of a year, official statistics show.

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show universities had an income of £25.4bn in 2008-09, compared to £23.4bn in 2007-08.

The data indicates £7.3bn of this came from tuition fees and education contracts - an increase of 16%.

The data also shows universities received £938m in 2008-09 by carrying out research for external clients.

And higher education institutions also earned £56.5m from intellectual property in the form of licensing fees and royalties.

Cash from funding bodies accounted for £8.8bn of universities' income in 2008-09, compared to £8.5bn the previous year.

Hesa's report - Higher Education Finance Plus - shows a 32% drop in income from endowments and investments from £522m in 2007-08 to £357m in 2008-09.

A spokesman for Hesa said this could be attributed to the financial crisis and the recession.


The report found universities' total income grew by more than 8% to £25.4bn - and expenditure rose by 9% between 2007-08 and 2008-09 from £ to £24.9bn.

Staff costs accounted for £14.2bn of this total and "other operating expenses" for £9bn.

Interest and other financial costs - such as interest payable on premises and residences as well as making up shortfalls in pension funds - were up 33% from £287m to £383m, again reflecting the current economic situation.

The Hesa figures for 2008-09 relate to 165 universities - 130 in England, 19 in Scotland, 12 in Wales and 4 in Northern Ireland.

The Hesa figures come as universities are bracing themselves for cuts in their funding.

Universities in England face real terms cuts in government funding allocations for the next academic year of 1.1%.

Welsh universities also face cuts - in 2009/10 they received grants totalling £433.8m, but last month the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales confirmed grants of £425.6m for the academic year 2010/2011.

Scottish Universities have been told they will have a 1.2% increase on funding, but unions say this amounts to a cut in real terms.

The cuts come as increasing numbers of young people are applying to study at UK universities.

Figures published by the university admissions service, Ucas, in February showed a 22.9% increase in applications on the same time last year.

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