A collapse in student numbers following Covid-19 pandemic could lead to billions in lost tuition fee and grant income, warns report for UCU

April 23, 2020

Universities will be hit by a £2.6 billion shortfall in the next academic year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact, according to an analysis by London Economics for the University and College Union.

A report from the consultancy, which has previously compiled reports for the government and the Higher Education Policy Institute, says that most of the loss will come from a reduction in international student recruitment. The report estimates that there will be a 47 per cent decrease in international student enrolment in the next academic year due to coronavirus, costing the sector £1.5 billion.

Approximately £612 million of the £2.6 billion loss will come from a drop in domestic student enrolment, which the report estimates will fall by 16 per cent, with a further £350 million from a fall in European Union student recruitment, which the report estimates will also fall by 47 per cent.

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