Universities UK proposes measures to help universities reeling from Coronavirus outbreak

Universities UK proposes measures to help universities reeling from Coronavirus outbreak

Universities UK (UUK) has laid out a series of measures to help mitigate the negative impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the country’s higher education sector.

A UUK paper highlighted the risks faced by the higher education sector due to Coronavirus if it is not provided mitigations and support from the government. 

UUK noted that it has been in touch with the Chancellor, Secretaries of State for Education and Business, and with the Ministers for Universities and Science, Research & Innovation.

The paper focused on both the short term and long term impacts faced by the universities. 

Universities UK says Coronavirus could cost universities £6.9b in overseas students’ fees

The UUK statement noted that the sector is looking at a loss of around £790m from conference income, catering, and accommodation.

The sector will also have to bear the additional expense of transitioning to online learning for students, UUK observed.

In the long run, UUK suggests the losses could be more extreme due to a decline in international students as well as an expected rise in deferrals of undergraduate home students.

UUK estimated that the UK higher education sector is at risk of losing around £6.9 billion in international students’ fees. 

Measures proposed by Universities UK to help higher education sector

Universities UK has proposed a series of measures that is believes will help protect the country’s higher education sector in the aftermath of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Some of these measures include:

  • Provide protection from cuts for courses which help meet the national need for public sector workers (health professions, teaching, etc.)
  • Deliver transformation funds to support some universities over the next two to three years
  • Encourage and enable international and EU students to choose to study in the UK as planned

The complete set of Universities UK measures can be read here.

Without help UK HE looking at losses and cut in services

If action is not taken, Universities UK said it believes that many universities will have to bear financial losses and would need to cut down on provisions that are provided to students. 

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, speaking about the paper, said:

“The package of measures we have proposed today will support universities across all four nations of the UK to ensure that they remain able to weather the very serious financial challenges posed by COVID-19.

“It will help to protect the student interest, to maintain research capacity, to prevent institutions failing and maintain the capacity to play a central role in the recovery of the economy and communities following the crisis.

“Universities have already made a huge contribution to the national effort to fight Covid-19 and moving forward will act collectively and responsibly to promote sector-wide financial stability in these challenging times and help the country to get back on its feet and people to rebuild their lives.”

Pic: Burst

Zahra Hamdani - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Zahra Hamdani is an Ireland-based reporter for Global Education Times who focuses on European and South Asian education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Zahra is a school-teacher and educationist with experience in both Primary and Secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Pakistan.

You can reach Zahra at zahra@globaleducationtimes.org

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