Commenting on the UK Government’s announcement of a package to support universities to continue research and innovation activities, Universities Scotland Convener Professor Andrea Nolan said:
“I welcome the UK Government’s action to support research in universities across the UK. Research and innovation has been essential in the fight against the virus and will be an even bigger driver of the UK’s economic recovery.
“Today’s package is crafted to protect university research. It recognises that university funding is complex and the revenue from international student fees is a significant part of the funding mix that supports research. The pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of that funding model. In Scotland, the challenges are more acute because the income from international student fees cross-subsidises teaching as well as research. Today’s announcement offers no support for teaching and the loans and funding available cannot be used by Scotland’s universities to address both problems. As a result, we will continue our conversations with Government to find a solution that ensures that if there is a fall in international students this autumn, Scotland’s universities have the resource to support teaching provision that our students and staff depend on.”