Friday, April 10, 2020

Universities ask government for £2bn bailout after loss of high tuition fees from overseas students

Universities are asking for a £2billion bailout due to the loss of high tuition fees from overseas students - with less than 40 per cent of the 120,000 from China expected to return after lockdown.

Institutions across the country are asking the Government to step in to save their research programmes which they say are threatened due to people no longer paying the high tuition fees.

Education chiefs reckon they face a loss of up to £7billion if all international students steer clear, The Times reports.

It comes after last year the number of Chinese students at UK universities was reported to have soared by 34 per cent in a five-year period, with 120,000 enrolled.

Most overseas students come from China and pay up to three times the £9,250 a year that Britons pay.

A British Council survey of 10,000 Chinese students who had places at UK universities this year revealed that just 39 per cent are still 'very likely' to go ahead with the studies.

Universities UK wants the government to double its research funding to £4billion in the coming educational year.

The bailout would benefit research-heavy institutions such as the London School of Economics, University College London, Imperial College London and others in the Russell Group.

Specialist universities such as the Royal College of Art and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine are also part of the bailout request.

The group also wants assistance for newer universities which have failed to recruit enough students in the last few years. The bailout request suggests they be helped to merge with local colleges.

Meanwhile, popular universities are capping the number of British students they take this autumn in order to prevent the luring away of students from weaker institutions.

The Department for Education said: 'We recognise the outbreak poses significant challenges to the sector, and the government is working closely with universities to understand the financial risks and implications they might face at this uncertain time.'

Source: Daily Mail Online (UK), April 10, 2020

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