Finance and funding | University of Oxford
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Finance and funding

The key financial objectives of the University are to provide the long-term resources to strengthen and further its pre-eminent position – nationally and internationally – as a place of outstanding learning, teaching, and research; and to enable it to provide additional support to its three core priorities of students, academic posts, and buildings.

The University of Oxford’s funding comes from five main sources.

1. The largest source – £564.9m, which accounts for 40% of total income – is external research funding, from bodies such as research councils, charities, trusts, foundations, and industry. Oxford consistently has the highest external research income of any university in the UK.

2. 14% comes from government grants through the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the National College for Teaching and Leadership. 

3. Other income includes annual transfers from Oxford University Press, income from the commercialisation of research, and philanthropic support (23%).

4. Academic fees, from both undergraduates and postgraduates (22%).

5. Investment income (1%).

Download the Financial Statements 2016-17 (PDF) 

University consolidated income and expenditure account 2016/17

University income   


Tuition fees and education contracts


Funding body grants


Research grants and contracts


Other income


Investment income


Donations and endowments


Donation of heritage assets (eg works of art, historical antiquities)


Total income


University expenditure


Staff costs


Staff costs - movement in pensions provision


Operating expenditure




Interest and other finance costs


Total expenditure


Surplus before other gains


Investment gains


Share of surplus/(deficit) on Joint Ventures


Surplus before tax




Total comprehensive income



The colleges of Oxford University (apart from Kellogg and St Cross) are independent, self-governing and financially autonomous. In 2016/17, the total annual incoming resources of the 36 colleges (including donations for capital projects or endowment) amounted to £516m. The three main sources of income are: (i) teaching, research and residential; (ii) legacies and donations (towards both annual expenditure and endowment); and (iii) investment income, as illustrated in the chart below. Other income derives mostly from trading activity such as vacation conferences.

College income

Total resources expended in 2016/17 amounted to £408m. 84% of this expenditure was directly attributable to the core charitable activities of the colleges, activities, including teaching, research and residential services. The balance was split between the costs of fundraising, running trading activities such as conferences and tourism, and investment management costs.


The University has endowment assets of £989m. Individual colleges have their own endowment assets, which amount to more than £4.6bn.

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