Fee income data are compiled from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) finance data record. HESA record the aggregate value of fees at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) for EU and non-EU domiciled students. These values have been used without further calculation. Since the previous publication, HESA has included new providers in its financial data collection. This publication uses the latest financial data, which restates tuition fee income figures across multiple years to include new providers. Therefore, tuition fee figures in this publication sometimes differ from previous years.
Since scholarships are publicly funded the value of awards to non-EU students has been subtracted from overall fee income. The following scholarships have been included in these calculations:
Cost to government of fee loans
EU students can access student loans for fees. The proportion of these loans that are not paid back is subtracted from the fee income as this value is funded by Government. DfE does not estimate the proportion of the value of fee loans to EU students. The RAB charge for all full-time higher education student loans is currently estimated to be around 53% for 2019-20. This figure is multiplied by undergraduate EU fee income in 2019/20 to give a high-level estimate of the RAB charge to government.
Weekly living costs for EU and non-EU domiciled students are estimated using the Student Income and Expenditure Survey (SIES). For 2019/20, the average weekly living costs are derived from the ad-hoc release published in support of the Post-18 Review of Education.
The calculation for average weekly living costs is derived from the mean cost of a full-time student living away from home in an academic year (39 weeks).
The annual living cost is calculated by multiplying the average weekly cost by the length of stay in the UK, this is assumed to be:
- 39 weeks for undergraduate EU students (it is assumed they are more likely to travel to their country of origin during the holidays)
- 42 weeks for undergraduate non-EU students (it is assumed they are less likely to travel to their country of origin during the holidays)
- 52 weeks for postgraduate students (reflects the longer course duration)
The number of students split by full-time/part-time, EU/non-EU, undergraduate/ postgraduate in each year is taken from the HESA student record. These numbers are then multiplied by the course length (weeks) and by the weekly living costs to allow a calculation of the aggregate level of living costs for EU and non-EU students. Finally, in order to estimate the figure for the academic year 2019/20, a GDP deflator has been applied to the figure.
Statistics on the number of Erasmus+ students coming into the UK are published by Eurostat. Higher Education students who study in the UK under the Erasmus+ scheme do not pay fees to the UK institution but to the partner institution in their country of origin. The only contribution included in calculations for Erasmus+ students is therefore living expenditure. It is assumed that all Erasmus+ students are full time, undergraduate students studying for 39 weeks.
Research and other contracts
The value of research grants and contracts split between UK and international sources are captured through data HEIs return to HESA. This incorporates export income from academic departments' research grants and contracts, academic services and administrative/central services.
International Intellectual Property income
Information on the total value of HE Intellectual Property (IP) revenue comes from the Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction survey (HE-BCI). This provides data on the total (domestic and international) income from IP.
To estimate the proportion of HE income from IP that is exported, the estimate from London Economics research is used. London Economics took data on the total revenue and export revenue for the R&D sector in 2008. They found that 38 per cent of the R&D sector revenue was generated through exports. It is assumed that this same proportion can be applied to the education sector.
Other overseas income
This is calculated using London Economics’ research, which conducted a survey of Tier 4 sponsors. HEIs responding to questions on income sources were also asked about any income that they earn from an overseas source that is not covered elsewhere. It is therefore not clear what is covered in this category. Results were grossed up from 14 responses to the population of 165 HEIs, suggesting a high level of uncertainty in these estimates. London Economics estimated £61.6 million of HE income from other sources in 2008/09.
The growth rate over the 2004/05 to 2008/09 period was calculated by London Economics to be 12.3 per cent. This was carried forward to future values.