Through integrated reporting (IR) and integrated thinking (IT), higher education institutions (HEIs) can engage future students, staff and other key stakeholders. This paper examines the impact of IR framework implementation on core activities disclosure within the UK HEIs. In particular, the authors explore the influence of the integrated thinking approach, intended to enhance the extent of the IR content elements, teaching and learning, internationalisation and research activities disclosure. The study is based on the annual reports of 123 UK HEIs over 3 years—2015–16, 2016–17 and 2017–18. Consistent with the predictions of legitimacy theory and the integrated thinking approach, the results show the extent that integrated reporting content elements and HEIs core activities disclosure practices have increased over the study period. The results also indicate that adoption of the IR framework, league table ranking position, key performance indicator reporting, size, research quality and graduate prospects all have significant positive influences on HEIs core activities disclosure. Based on the findings, the recommendations are that UK HEI governing and other regularity bodies, such as British Universities Finance Director Groups, Leadership Foundation in Higher Education and the Higher Education Funding Council, should consider development of voluntary integrated reporting guidelines and a core activities disclosure framework.