In response to a report from London Economics consultancy for the University and College Union, which warns that Welsh universities could face a £98m drop in income in 2020-21 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Amanda Wilkinson, Director of Universities Wales said:
“As well as the important contribution that universities are making to support the national effort in response to COVID-19, universities will also have a vital role to play in the recovery of economies and communities in Wales. We know that universities in Wales are proportionately more important to the economy of Wales than elsewhere in the UK, generating £5bn of output and nearly 50,000 jobs. This helpful report highlights the critical financial risks for the sector which threaten the role that universities play.
“The University and College Union is absolutely right to warn of the knock-on impacts this would have for jobs, regional economics, local communities and students.
“Welsh Government and UK Government must take urgent action to provide the support which can 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. We are also working with HEFCW and Welsh Government to identify what support will be needed for the sector in Wales.”