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Student fees

A breakdown of the student fees set internationally and in the UK, and how the fees are spent.

How are International and UK fees set?

Brunel University London has an increasing international reputation for its high quality teaching in a highly conducive learning environment. Brunel University London occupies a single site campus which provides 4,600 student accommodation units and sports playing fields alongside all its teaching, educational, research and recreational facilities. Furthermore all the cultural and social activities that London has to offer are readily accessible by tube.

The University attracts around 20% to 25% of all its students from countries across the world. To attract these high quality, mobile students Brunel University ensures that its fee levels are competitive with other international institutions that offer comparable high quality courses. The majority of tuition fees are set in three bands – currently £14,800, £16,200 and £18,000 – and the annual fees are reviewed each year and published on the website.

For residents of countries in the UK and the EU, the British government offers student loans to undergraduate students and contribute to the scholarships and bursaries awarded to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In exchange, the undergraduate tuition fees are limited to £9,250 per year for all UK and EU citizens for the 2017/18 academic year. The British government also provides grant funding for high cost subjects and for research.

What do we spend student fees on?

The University provides dedicated course resources with specialist academic teachers alongside shared and pooled support. So, for example, as well as Departmental tutors there are College inquiry teams to help with administrative queries and there is a central University library where a broader, multi-disciplinary range of books and journals are available to support the subjects taught across the University and with more specialised research journals and monographs too. 

Where do student fees fit in?

In 2017/18 the main sources of income for the university were student tuition fees (54%), but also importantly government grants (14%), research grants (10%) and other income - including accommodation fees, catering and commercial income, (22%). The student fees from UK and EU students are being funded by the government backed Student Loans Company and have replaced the funding which had previously (before 2012) been supplied by government grants.

The University’s sources of income

 Income - 17-18

The University’s expenditure

The University prioritises expenditure in the academic departments and its research institutes but it also ensures that vital central support services are funded including the library, student registration and support, human resources, finance and security. In addition there is a need to maintain and develop the buildings, the IT hardware and software and other infrastructure around the campus. The expenditure can be analysed a number of ways; analysis by cost type and by activity are show below:-

By activity:

 expenditure 2018

Academic services include library costs, as well as direct student support costs. The estates costs include repairs and maintenance of the University’s campus, including residential and academic buildings. Research grants and contracts expenditure is directly related to the research grants and contract income noted in the income analysis

By cost type:

 cost type 2018

The largest cost above is staff costs, representing around 53% of total expenditure, which is broadly in line with the higher education sector average. Depreciation represents the annual effect of spreading the cost of the University’s capital assets (such as buildings and equipment) over their economic life. The interest cost is a fixed annual cost of servicing the University’s long term borrowings which financed the construction of the student residences on the campus during the last decade.

The University’s financial surplus

The University is a charity with an educational mission to create knowledge and advance understanding and reinvests any surplus to enable to better fulfil this mission. The University does not pay out any profits to shareholders. The University therefore plans to spend most of its income over the medium term, on the provision of teaching and research.  A small level of surplus is targeted, over the medium and long term, to ensure that appropriate levels of capital investment can be made in the infrastructure of the campus and the University's IT systems. 


Summary financial results








As published













Operating Surplus / (Deficit)




Net Operating Cashflow





A more detailed analysis of the University’s most recent financial results and position, and a narrative on the University’s operating activities including its teaching, research and charitable/public benefit initiatives, can be accessed from the Strategic Report section of the University’s Financial Statements on the external website.