Introduction to OfS funding
The Office for Students distributes government higher education funding to more than 300 providers in England.
Our grants do not meet the entire teaching costs of a course. Providers receive most of this cost through student tuition fees.
Instead, our funding supports:
- areas where teaching costs are particularly high (such as medicine)
- particular policy areas and government priorities (such as promoting equal opportunities).
We allocate most of our funds by academic year (August to July), though some funding – such as capital funding – is allocated by financial year (April to March).
Who we can fund
For 2018-19, we are providing funding under powers that formerly applied to HEFCE.
This means we can only fund teaching at certain higher education institutions (broadly, this means universities) and specific courses at further education and sixth form colleges.
What we base our calculations on
The government sent us a guidance letter in February.
This set out our teaching funding budget, along with the policy areas we should prioritise.
The OfS board then determined the budgets for different elements of grant and the approach to their distribution.
Most of our funding is distributed by formula, usually based on the numbers and types of students reported by providers.
Research and knowledge exchange funding
We do not provide any annual funding to support research. This is the responsibility of Research England.
Research England are also responsible for distributing knowledge exchange funding to providers, though part of this funding comes from our teaching budget.
Previous annual funding
For further information on how funding has been allocated in the past, you can consult the annual allocations pages on the HEFCE website.
These pages provide links to funding provided by HEFCE in the academic years up to 2017-18, along with supporting documents and publications.