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 income comes from the following main sources:
- the University's largest single source of income (26%) is research funding from bodies such as charities, foundations, research councils, trusts, and industry; Oxford consistently has the highest external research income of any university in the UK
- tuition fees (from both undergraduate and postgraduate), and education contracts amount to 15%
- 8% comes from government grants through Office for Students and Research England
- other income relates to activity other than teaching and research: educational publishing, the commercialisation of research philanthropic support and investment income from the University’s endowments (51%)
University consolidated income and expenditure account 2017/18
Tuition fees and education contracts
Funding body grants
Research grants and contracts
Total income before donations
Donations and endowments
Donation of heritage assets
Staff costs - movement in pensions provision
Interest and other finance costs
Surplus before other gains
Gains on investments
Share of surplus/(deficit) on Joint Ventures
Surplus before tax
Surplus after tax
Other comprehensive income
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.
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 £1.2bn. Individual colleges have their own endowment assets, which amount to more than £4.6bn.