Fees and finances explained

Where the money comes from

Universities receive income from student fees, government grants and research grants, as well as generating their own income through charitable fundraising, investments and business activities such as ‘spin-out’ companies.

Student fees were introduced in 1998 to help the government fund increasing numbers of students to attend university and reduce the cost of this to the taxpayer. Fees have increased over time, as direct government funding to universities has decreased.

The government has commissioned a review of university fees and financial support for students, although it is not expected to report until 2019 and will not affect courses starting in 2018/19.

Further information: if you would like to know more about the University’s finances and expenditure, these are published each year in our annual Global Review and Financial Statements .



Where we spend the money

At Nottingham all of our income is spent on your University – teaching and research, libraries and laboratories, sports venues and social spaces.

Total Income - £ millions (m)


Total Expenditure - £ millions (m)



Surpluses are a result of careful in-year management of the University’s finances, which are reinvested during that year to enhance our teaching, research and services for students.


So what does my student fee pay for?

Student fees are now a very significant part of the University’s income, but your fee does not cover the full costs of your time and studies at Nottingham.

We combine student fees with their other sources of income eg government teaching and research grants, charitable fundraising, investments and business activities to make up the difference. The typical fee is spent in the following ways:

University of Nottingham

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3666
email: Contact us