University of Oxford Finance

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University of Oxford Finance

University of Oxford Finance

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 – £537.4m, 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. 15% 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 (22%).

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

5. Investment income (1%).

Download the Financial Statements 2015-16 (PDF)

University consolidated income and expenditure account 2015/16

University income    £m  
Tuition fees and education contracts 293.5
Funding body grants 192.5
Research grants and contracts 537.4
Other income 213.0
Investment income 8.8
Donations and endowments 74.4
Donation of heritage assets (eg works of art, historical antiquities) 2.2
Total income 1,321.8
University expenditure £m
Staff costs 680.3
Staff costs – movement in pensions provision 11.0
Operating expenditure 545.3
Depreciation/amortisation 87.1
Interest and other finance costs 12.8
Total expenditure 1,336.5
(Deficit)/Surplus before other gains (14.7)
Investment gains 188.0
Surplus before tax 173.3
Taxation (0.4)
Total comprehensive income 172.9


The colleges of Oxford University (apart from Kellogg and St Cross) are independent, self-governing and financially autonomous. In 2015-16, the total annual incoming resources (including donations for capital projects or endowment) of the 36 colleges amounted to £453m. Teaching, research and residential income accounted for 42% of incoming resources, while legacies and donations received in the year (towards both annual expenditure and endowment) together with investment income accounted for a further 50%. Income was also derived from trading activity such as vacation conferences.

Total resources expended amounted to about £389m in 2015/16. 84% of this expenditure was directly attributable to core 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 £910m. Individual colleges have their own endowment assets, which amount to more than £4.1bn.