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Income of universities, contract activities

data publication
08 January 2024
university income
In this data publication, we show the size and development of the income from contract activities of all Dutch universities and we zoom in on the income from contract research sorted by funder.

In short

  • Income from contract activities has increased since 2006.
  • NWO funds the largest share of contract research, about 26%.
  • The share of internationally funded contract research has increased between 2008 and 2022.

Income universities, contract activities

Income from contract activities has increased sharply since 2006, from more than 1 billion euros in 2006 to 2 billion euros in 2019. In 2020 we will see a slight decline (to 1.9 billion euros), possibly as a result of the corona crisis. Since 2021, income from contract activities rises again to 2.1 billion euros in 2022. The share of contract research has increased from 82% in 2006 to 87% in 2022.

Income contract research by source of funds

If we look at the funders of contract research, NWO is the largest funder. In 2022 NWO funds 494 million euros, which is approximately 26% of all contract research. The share of internationally funded contract research has increased most sharply in the period 2008-2022. As a share of all contract research, this rises from 18 to 24%.

Income contract research per university

As the third graph shows, the size and composition of contract research funding differs strongly per university. Maastricht University, for example, receives the largest part of its contract research funds from international organisations (35%). For the University of Amsterdam (UvA), national governments were the largest source in 2022 (36%). The difference in size of total contract research funds is also shaped by the difference in size betweenthe universities. Most universities receive between one fifth and a quarter of their total income from contract research. This is lower for the Free University (VU, 11%) and University of Tilburg (UvT, 7%).

Of all contract research income, 26,1% stems from subsidies of the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW). Most universities receive around a third of their contract research income from these sources. There are a few outliers downwards (TU/e: 17,4%) and upwards (UvT: 38,5% and RU: 36,3%).