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Funding to run the OU comes from several sources—the largest of which is tuition fees from UK and international students.

In common with all UK Universities, The Open University financial year runs from 1 August to the following 31 July. A summary of income appears below along with a brief narrative to explain each line. For more detailed information please refer to the annual Financial Statements, published in December every year and available at the Freedom of Information website

Income summary

Funding Body Grants

This line comprises grants received from all funding bodies. The Open University is unique amongst UK universities in operating across the whole of the UK and so is funded for its teaching activities by all the national higher education funding bodies. In respect of its research activities, it is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and not by any of the other national funding bodies.

Tuition Fees

This line includes tuition fees received in respect of OU modules and programmes, directly from students or sponsors, and from the Student Loans Company and Open University Student Budget Accounts Limited (OUSBA). OUSBA provides credit facilities to OU students to allow them to pay tuition fees in instalments.

Research Grants and Contracts

These arise from competitive bids for funding from a range of public and private funders.

Other Income

This comes from a wide variety of sources, including grants from the European Union and charitable bodies.

Investment Income

All income in respect of interest received from bank deposits and other investments are included here.

Donations and Endowments

This includes all donations and endowments receivable in the year.

Income £m %
Tuition fees 248.0 52.2%
Funding body grants 123.1 25.9%
Research grants and contracts 15.3 3.2%
Other income 44.3 9.3%
Investment invome 41.8 8.8%
Donations and Endowments 2.7 0.6%
Total income 475.2 100%

The figures listed in this table reflect the income receieved within year ended 31 July 2016.