In response to a report from the Wales Governance Centre which details the financial risks facing universities in Wales as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, a University Wales spokesperson said:
“As highlighted by this report, there are substantial financial risks facing universities in Wales as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. As well as the tuition fee income highlighted in this report, universities also face possible impacts on a range of other areas including research income, accommodation and catering.
“We know that universities are proportionately more important to the economy of Wales than elsewhere in the UK, generating £5bn of output and nearly 50,000 jobs, and any significant shrinking of the sector would have knock-on impacts for jobs, regional economics, local communities and students.
“Wales’ universities are also making important contributions to support the national effort in response to COVID-19, and will have a vital role to play in the Wales’ recovery from this crisis.
“Welsh Government and UK Government must take urgent action to provide support to ensure universities are able to weather these very serious challenges, and to protect students, maintain research, and retain our capacity to drive the recovery of the economy and communities.
“Universities Wales has recently worked with Universities UK supporting the development of UUK’s balanced package of proposals to mitigate these challenges and ensure the sector is able to play a key role in the UK’s recovery. The UK Government’s initial response to these proposals, published on 4 May 2020, must be a first step towards a full package of support developed by the UK and devolved governments to address the challenges faced by the sector.”