OfS report on financial sustainability of universities

16 May 2024

Responding to the new report from the Office for Students (OfS) on the financial sustainability of universities in England, Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

"It is no surprise to see the OfS identifying increased pressure on university finances. Growing funding shortfalls for domestic teaching and research means cross-subsidy from other sources – primarily international student fees – has become increasingly important to the sector’s financial health.

"Application data suggests that recent changes in government rhetoric and policy, including the ban on PGT students bringing dependants, are having a negative impact on international student numbers. Any further restrictions would significantly destabilise the sector and ultimately result in less spending in local communities, fewer opportunities for domestic students and less UK research.

"In a week where the MAC and the OfS have both independently recognised the value that international students add to the sector, the Government now has a clear steer on the benefits of maintaining the Graduate Route visa and letting other recent policy changes embed before making further changes. We would urge Ministers to end the uncertainty and confirm as soon as possible that the route will continue in its entirety."

Find out more about the value of the Graduate Route to the UK in our latest briefing.

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