How we are run

How providers and the regulatory system are funded

As part of our commitment to openness regarding our operations, this page summarises the budget for our income and expenditure for the current financial year. We have also published details of funding that flows to providers by virtue of registration with the OfS and costs of regulation to the higher education sector.


The income budget to fund our running costs for the financial year 2022–23 is £30.1 million. This is primarily funded by registration fees from providers (see Figure 1). We receive government grants to fund fee discounts and the administration costs of discrete projects such as the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) and monitoring of the Prevent duty.

Figure 1: OfS income budget 2022–23

Figure 1 shows that of our income budget of £30.1 million, we receive: £26.5 million (88%) from registration fees; £2.8 million (9%) from government grants; £0.8 million (3%) from other sources.


Our budgeted running costs for financial year 2022–23 are £30.1 million. Most of our running costs relate to staff. Other significant spending areas include IT and premises (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: OfS running costs budget 2022–23

Figure 2 shows that our £30.1 million running costs budget includes: £24.2 million (80%) staff pay and related costs; £2.4 million (8%) premises costs; £1.8 million (6%) IT costs; £1.7 million (6%) other costs.

Programme funding and expenditure

The Department for Education provides grant funding for programmes to support the higher education sector. Find out how we allocate funding to specific activities and providers.

We expect to distribute £1,487 million in the financial year 2022–23. Most of this is in the form of recurrent teaching grants paid directly to providers (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Programme spend budget 2022–23

Figure 3 shows that the £1,487 million programme spend budget includes: £1,261 million (85%) formula funding (recurrent teaching); £125 million (8%) in general capital grants; £88 million (6%) in general recurrent grants; and £13 million (1%) in ringfenced activity.

Income to providers as a result of registration

Income available available to registered providers (HESA/OfS)

2021-22 (£ million)  

Recurrent teaching grant funding (incl. competition funding) (OfS)


Research England funding (Research and Knowledge Exchange)


Other research funding (UKRI and other public sources, incl charities and EU)


Capital grant funding (OfS and RE)


Student support funding – UK and EU students, fees (from SLC)


Non-UK student fee income – including EU students from 2021-22


DfE teacher training funding


Health and Hospital Authorities


Other services rendered – public sources


Total registration-contingent income*


* £8,601 million is also paid to students at registered providers through government-backed student loans for maintenance and other support.

Costs of regulation

What the sector pays for regulation


Total sector regulatory fee


Of which OfS annual registration fee


Of which fees set by the designated data body


Of which fees set by the designated quality body


Total sector student FTE


Total sector regulatory fee per student FTE


The total value of regulatory fees paid by registered providers represents approximately 0.13 per cent of the income to which they gain access by virtue of registration with the OfS.

Published 06 July 2021
Last updated 13 March 2023
13 March 2023
The page has been updated to include details of income available available to registered providers and the costs of regulation.
21 June 2022
Income and expenditure budgets for financial year 2022–23 published

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