How we spend our money

The University is dedicated to providing both high quality academic provision and to ensuring that all students have the best possible experience. We seek to ensure that your experience is outstanding in many ways by:

  • delivering inspiring and relevant teaching that is underpinned by important research and innovation that makes a difference
  • ensuring that our buildings and digital systems encourage your enjoyment of learning and discovery
  • adding value to your degree by making sure all students participate in career-enhancing activities such as: placements, exchanges, enterprise, volunteering or work-based learning

Tuition fees and education contracts account for slightly more than 76% of the University’s income, with the next most significant amount of funding coming from Government Higher Education Funding Council grants. We also receive income for research and innovation projects and from our halls of residence and other services such as catering, conferences and lettings.

We value openness and we are keen that our current students know where the University’s income comes from and how we spend this money in supporting your experience.

How is the University funded?

Income £000
Funding council grants 21,992
Tuition fees and education contracts 171,374
Research grants and contracts 6,519
Other income 24,618
Endowment and investment income 780
Total 225,233

The University’s income in 2015/16 was just over £225 million. The money comes from four main sources:

All of our income goes towards delivering the best teaching and student experience and enabling us to undertake important research - all in an environment that fosters creativity, innovation and personal development. The University also believes that lack of financial means should not be a deterrent to getting a degree and we also fund a generous package of support and bursaries.

Over 60% of our income is spent on teaching, services and facilities that support the student experience. This includes our academic teaching staff, academic support services, such as the library, labs, computers and IT, buildings for teaching and other campus facilities. We have been consistently ranked among the top universities for student satisfaction in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS).

How the money is spent

The University is a vibrant community of 22,000 students and 2,500 staff with a shared goal of transforming futures through achievement and success. The chart below breaks down how the money gets spent:

Investing to transform futures

Removing financial barriers to University access

students at freshers fayre
Freshers' fayre

In the academic year 2015/16 the University spent over £7m on financial support for students. Over £6m was in form of bursaries targeted at students with a family income of £25,000 or less. The remaining £1m was spent on hardship funds to support students with particular financial needs, including those students with children.

The University was allocated 487 National Scholarship places in 2013/14. We decided to meet the requirement to provide matched funding by more than trebling the number of scholarships available, offering 1,534 scholarships at a value of £3,000 each.

Additionally, we took the decision to invest substantially in additional fee waivers and bursaries so that the same level of support could be offered to all eligible students with family income of £25,000 or less, rather than impose additional criteria to limit the number to 487. More than 1,700 first year students had a family income of £25,000 or less and each received £3,000 of support. A further 790 students with a family income between £25,000 and £42,600 received a bursary.

The cost of this support to students amounted to £4.6 million. The University maintained the previous bursary scheme for continuing students.

Student satisfaction and future success

Students in a lecture
Industry relevant learning

All of our courses, that are eligible, are accredited or validated by professional organisations. 100% of our courses have opportunities for work-related learning ranging from placements, volunteering, commercial projects or a sandwich year in a workplace relevant to your degree. All students learn in one of our 25 academic departments. All of our 1,134 academic staff strive to ensure that you are inspired by teaching that is informed by the latest research and industry practice.

In 2017 the University, for the 11th consecutive year, out-ranked the sector average for student satisfaction. In the independent National Student Survey (NSS), 88% said they were satisfied with the quality of their course. Our students are also highly employable. Over 96% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation according to the most recent destination statistics.

Research that makes a difference

Face of a computer generated avatar
RITA (Responsive InTeractive Advocate)

Our researchers work across subject boundaries to address key issues facing society including the environment, health, security and ageing. University of Portsmouth’s specialists in virtual reality, advanced interactive technologies and animation have combined their expertise to help create Rita (Responsive InTeractive Advocate) – an intelligent computerised avatar designed to help in caring for Britain’s ageing population.

It’s early days and the prototype will go through much more development but this research marks the first step of revolutionising the way elderly people will be cared for in the future, allowing many to live independently for longer. Rita will appear as a figure on a television screen, a tablet computer or a mobile phone. She is able to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, remind people to take medication and will know when to alert the doctor or the emergency services.

Your library - heart of academic life

Inside the University library
The University library

Reopened in September 2014, the Library transformed to make way for an innovative new social learning space, in response to feedback from our students in the National Student Survey. The first and second floors remain as quiet study areas, while the ground floor houses social zones, a café, a presentation rehearsal space and a print zone.

More meeting areas encourage much more interactive learning, with soft booths, American diners, stand up meeting pods, build-your-own soft seating areas, and a soft-seating area. Groups can create and rehearse presentations with hook-up to built-in plasma screens in the presentation zone. The print zone, with small and large printing, a 3D printer, and free self-service binding, enables printing from anywhere in the Library.

Building spaces for creative collaboration

Eldon building extension
Eldon building extension

The Eldon building extension which opened in January 2014 exemplifies the flexible learning spaces we are creating to promote enjoyment and engagement within a community of learning and discovery.

This extends to the University’s digital environment where significant investment in IT facilities mean we have excellent wifi, broadband, computer suites and virtual learning environments.

Alongside plans for new buildings to support the student experience, we undertake a continuous programme of refurbishment. £3 million was spent on improvements to teaching rooms and lecture theatres this summer (2014).

Happy staff and inspiring teachers

Inspiring teachers collect awards
Inspiring teachers

We are pleased that our staff, as well as our students, report high levels of satisfaction about being part of the University.

We are a top 10 Employer of Choice and among the top 30 best employers for working families. The University has also committed to supporting the non-statutory living wage for all directly employed staff.

Every year our Students’ Union give teaching awards to academic staff who have been nominated by students. This year (2014) the award for having the most outstanding positive impact on students went to Dr Lee Sartain, senior lecturer in American Studies.