Where your tuition fee goes

Your fees go towards helping you shape your future. Find out how we use the money you pay for your course to provide you with world-class teaching and to help you get the most from your time at Sussex.

Annual income from your tuition fees

Your tuition fees add up to about half of our total income and are one of a variety of income sources that we receive. As an organisation that receives funds from public sources, including the Office for Students and the Student Loan Company, we are committed to value for money. The below chart shows our income for the year 2021/22.

Income from tuition fees
Student feesOther sources of income*
£209.4 million (60.5%) £136.8 million (39.5%)
Total expenditure £389.2 million
Total income  £346.2 million

The excess of costs over income produced a deficit of £43m. This is after a charge of £62m for pensions which is repayable over the long term and does not affect the viability of the University.

*Includes: research grants and contracts, government grants, student residences, consultancy and other services, catering and student services, medical school services to the NHS, accommodation for International Summer School and conferences, donations and endowments, and income from investments.

The Universitys income and expenditure

To see a full breakdown of our income and expenditure – where our income comes from and how we spend it, download our accounts report (21/22) (PDF 5.1MB) or email us at: press@sussex.ac.uk

How your fees are spent

If you are a home undergraduate student, your current yearly tuition fee is £9,250. You can see how we spend this money throughout the year below. 

  • Academic departments
    £2,613 – 28%

  • Central University running costs
    £1,735 – 19%

  • Operating and maintaining campus
    £1,374 – 15%

  • Future investment
    £1,119 – 12%

  • Library and IT
    £995 – 11%

  • Widening access to university
    £671 – 7%

  • Student wellbeing
    £743 – 8%

  • Academic departments

    We are committed to providing you with high-quality teaching and an excellent learning experience. That’s why we invest the equivalent of 28% (£2,613) of your tuition fee on the cost of the academic staff who teach and support you. We also use it to fund other school-based staff and the resources and equipment used in schools to support your academic learning.

  • Central University running costs

    We want to ensure the University runs efficiently during your time with us. We invest 19% (£1,735) of your tuition fee on the teams who keep the University running. This includes Human Resources, Finance and Development and Alumni Relations, who keep us in touch with former students and undertake fundraising in support of scholarships and other programmes. It also includes our senior leaders.

  • Operating and maintaining campus

    We are committed to providing a safe, accessible and inclusive environment for you to learn in. We invest 15% (£1,374) of your tuition fee on maintaining things like our learning and social spaces, our Library building and sport facilities. It does not include our student residences; these aren’t funded from your tuition fee.

  • Future investment

    We want to ensure we are investing in our future so we can provide our students with state-of-the-art facilities and up-to-date services. We invest 12% (£1,119) of your tuition fee on developing these. A current student will benefit from the contribution of previous students, and this investment directly helps to maintain and enhance the value of your Sussex qualification.

  • Library and IT

    We want to provide library resources and technology that enhances your study experience at Sussex. That’s why we invest the equivalent of 11% (£995) of your tuition fee on the staff and running costs of our Library and our IT team, IT equipment, infrastructure and technology.

  • Widening access to university

    We believe in the power of higher education to drive social mobility and that a diverse, inclusive university community can help make a fairer society for all. We use part of your tuition fee (7% or £671) to fund scholarships and bursaries to support access to University for students from all backgrounds. It includes our student recruitment and admissions teams as these are crucial to reaching and admitting potential students.

  • Student wellbeing

    We want you to feel supported throughout your time at Sussex. We invest 8% (£743) on the staff and running costs of the central services that support you and help you to get the most from your time at Sussex. It includes careers, wellbeing, disability services, hardship support, sport and funding for the Students’ Union.

Our commitment 

We will manage our resources effectively and efficiently, and invest as much of our income as we can, so you benefit from a world-class standard of teaching and research.

We will ensure Value for Money for both students, the taxpayer and wider society – in doing this, we will balance our operational priorities with our responsibility to ensure long term organisational sustainability and success.

How you benefit

Your fees mean we can continue to invest in our campus, teaching and facilities, so we can deliver an outstanding education and excellent student experience. 

We will provide you with:

  • a transformative, high-quality education and learning experience that will allow you to realise the future you want and to the benefit of society as a whole
  • high-quality teaching and an excellent teaching and learning experience
  • positive and enhanced employment outcomes
  • the skills needed to become the high-quality labour force and leaders required for the future development of the UK’s economy and society.

The University will maintain the value of a Sussex degree over the long term.

The University will ensure consumer protection to students.

Recent investment

Your tuition fees and our other sources of income have helped us invest in several areas for students.

You can now benefit from: 

  • our Student Centre – costing £28 million, it is designed to fit the diverse needs of Sussex students, with new technology to help staff support you
  • refurbished buildings – we have spent £19.5 million on projects including a biomedical research facility, lecture theatre revamp, updating our general infrastructure, upgrading teaching spaces and improving IT services
  • widening access to education – tuition fees allow students from a range of backgrounds to go to university, we do this through our Access and Participation Plan [PDF 475KB] with the Office for Students
  • making a more accessible campus – we have invested in making our campus more accessible for people with all disabilities
  • a sustainable campus – we have invested £2 million so we can work to become one of the most sustainable universities in the world
  • expert teaching – our academics advise governments and policymakers, and support research in key areas of knowledge that benefit society, this means you will learn from leading staff who will prepare you for the workplace with transferable skills and real- world experience.

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