Where do your tuition fees go?

Your fees are an investment in your future - the information here will help you understand how we spend your tuition fees, and our other income, on students at York.

How much of our income is from fees?

A pie chart showing that 49% of the University's income is from tuition fees and educational contracts.

  • Student fees = 49% of total income (£179.4m)
    Student fees and educational contracts (for example, research councils, commercial organisations and charities) received by the University make up 49 per cent of our income and amount to £179.4m per year.

  • Student fees contribute to 62% of our total spend on teaching, research, services and infrastructure (£290.7m)
    The fees you pay cover around 62 per cent of the money needed to provide excellent teaching, learning and research opportunities. Our total investment focused on your student experience comes to around £290.7m per year.

How are your fees spent?

Graph showing how student fees are used to invest in your University experience.

Academic departments

We pride ourself on providing an excellent teaching and learning experience for our students, and achieving TEF Gold status means you will leave with a degree from a university renowned for its research led teaching. Being taught by leaders in their field, with a syllabus that has been inspired by the latest thinking, is fundamental to your future success, and so it's not surprising that we spend 46 per cent (£133.8.m) of the fees you pay on academic department delivery and support for your teaching and learning experience.

IT, Library and study resources

Study resources essential to your studies are covered by your university fees. Things like high speed wifi, the 24/7 Library, the campus network, printers, e-learning resources including the VLE and lecture capture, access to online timetabling, and help desks. We are always looking for opportunities to use technology to support your learning as well as ensuring you have the physical resources and study spaces you need.

Student support

Student support encompasses all the activities necessary to keep you happy, healthy and looking forward to a successful future. Taking care of your health and wellbeing during your time at York is important and your fees contribute to the counselling and health services, and support from the college system. Our Student Hub provides daily support and advice on all kinds of matters including finance, disability, visas, being a carer or a student with children. Additional study support skills are met through the Writing and the Maths centres, and your future career hopes and dreams are supported through our careers team and employability programme York Futures.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of York was founded on the principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all. Our strongly held belief in opportunity for all means a percentage (5 per cent) of the fees we receive are reinvested to provide a place at York to talented students who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to benefit from a university degree.

Your campus

Many students are attracted to York because of our green and open campus. Making sure you have an excellent environment in which to live and learn is a key priority. We invest in the lakes and landscape as well as maintaining and running the buildings and facilities you use everyday. Your fees help us to run, heat and service the places you use including teaching and leisure spaces, research facilities, student support premises and sports buildings.

Running the University

There are central functions common to all universities that are part of the costs of the day-to-day running of the institution; they include student recruitment and admissions, human resources, finance, planning, and administrative systems. These activities allow the smooth running of the University to ensure excellent teaching, learning and research takes place, and that we continue to recruit and retain outstanding students for the future.

Surplus for reinvestment

We are a charity; our charitable status means that our activities are not focused on making a profit for investors or shareholders. Instead we are required to generate a surplus which is used to invest in the student experience and to ensure the long-term sustainable future of the University. We typically use surplus income to enhance teaching and research space, student learning, social and sporting facilities, additional student support, campus improvements, and funding for new innovations.

What benefits do you get back?

Studying at the University is not an economic transaction. You don't purchase your qualification. You join an academic community where you enter into a partnership between you and everyone here involved in providing you with an outstanding student experience. We hope you will leave with fond memories and feeling prepared for whatever future you've planned.

However, if we do take a look at facts and figures, a recent Impact Report undertaken by London Economics highlights the following benefits enjoyed by graduates from York.

  • Students who gain a degree at York earn a lifetime premium* of £78,000 for male students and £58,000 for women.
  • Those who study at York gain a 12.7 per cent rate of return on their investment for males and 11.8 per cent for women. By comparison, yields for 30-year government bonds are 1.92 per cent
  • 84 per cent were better prepared for the world of work
  • 78 per cent believed their careers had been enhanced
  • 78 per cent felt better about themselves and had improved self-esteem
  • 89 per cent of students said their competency and skill levels had increased
  • 95 per cent said their analytical skills had improved
  • 90 per cent were more confident and better communicators
  • 88 per cent said their transferable skills had improved

*Lifetime premium is the net additional earnings that an English domicile student would expect to have earned over their total career after deduction of their student fees and associated costs as well as any bank interest they might have received on these fees and costs.

What your fees don't cover

There are a host of other activities, investments and costs that are not funded from student fees. These include direct research expenditure, student accommodation, catering and conferences. These are met entirely by other funding sources. To find out more about other sources of income and expenditure see our summary of funding and expenditure.