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A history of university income in the United Kingdom and Australia, 1922–2017

Tamson Pietsch (Social and Political Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

History of Education Review

ISSN: 0819-8691

Article publication date: 9 October 2020

Issue publication date: 1 December 2020




The purpose of this paper is to create comparable time series data on university income in Australia and the UK that might be used as a resource for those seeking to understand the changing funding profile of universities in the two countries and for those seeking to investigate how such data were produced and utilised.


A statistical analysis of university income from all sources in the UK and Australia.


The article produces a new time series for Australia and a comparable time series for the UK. It suggests some of the ways these data related to broader patterns of economic change, sketches the possibility of strategic influence, and outlines some of their limitations.


This is the first study to systematically create a time series on Australian university income across the twentieth century and present it alongside a comparable dataset for the UK.



The author is grateful to Vincent Carpentier for his assistance and support with this project, and to William Locke and Geoffrey Sherington and the anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article.


Pietsch, T. (2020), "A history of university income in the United Kingdom and Australia, 1922–2017", History of Education Review, Vol. 49 No. 2, pp. 229-248.



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