Russell Group response to OfS report on financial sustainability

18 May 2023

In response to the Office for Students' (OfS) annual report on financial sustainability published today (18 May 2023), Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

"Our universities’ ability to attract people from around the world to the UK is an asset and an integral part of the Government’s International Education Strategy. Supported by measures like the Graduate Route, our members are working hard to diversify intakes, increasing student numbers from key markets such as India and the UAE by more than 50% since 2017.

"As well as bringing a wide range of cultural, social and economic benefits to the UK, revenue from international students is reinvested into high-quality education and research to benefit all students. However, this revenue is now being asked to cover increasing deficits in both domestic teaching and publicly-funded research.

"As this report demonstrates, universities will always work to run as efficiently as possible so they can continue to deliver the best possible student experience. However, as costs rise and deficits grow, universities’ ability to mitigate the impact on quality and choice for students is limited. That is why we are calling for a new approach to funding higher education that is fair and affordable for students and the taxpayer and protects the pipeline of skills to support innovation and economic growth."

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