Expenditure by higher education institutions rose by 5.4 per cent last year, while income rose by just 4.1 per cent, latest figures show, writes Harriet Swain.
Data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveal that institutions' total income in 1998-99 amounted to Pounds 12.1 billion, of which Pounds 1.8 billion came from research grants and contracts - up 5.8 per cent - and Pounds 2.7 billion was from academic fees and support grants - down 4.5 per cent. But this figure was affected by changes in tuition fee arrangements, which also contributed to the 9 per cent increase in income from the higher education funding councils.
Fees from part-time credit-bearing higher education students made up 12.6 per cent of total academic fee and support grant income.
Total expenditure by institutions was Pounds 11.9 billion, with the rise due mainly to an increase of Pounds 410 million in staff costs and Pounds 185 million in other operating expenses.
The number of academic staff increased by 2.4 per cent in 1998-99 to 131,136. The number of students increased by 2.5 per cent, says the funding council.