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Edinburgh Warns of Serious Threat

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

According to Professor Peter Mathieson, the University of Edinburgh is under "serious threat" from the coronavirus pandemic, with annual income due to decline by up to £150 million.

The professor argued the university may no longer need the scale of buildings and facilities it currently has.

The largest challenge that the University of Edinburgh and others face, is a large drop in the number of students from outside of Europe, some of whom pay tuition fees of around £30,000 a year.

Whilst the university does not know how large the drop will be, it has warned it could range from a 25% decline to a complete collapse.

Prof Mathieson said: "We're trying to be honest and transparent with our staff, so we've said that at the moment we're looking at things like limiting pay rises and limiting promotions in the next academic year because that will save us money."

"We haven't started talking about redundancies but all universities are looking at their future size and their shape."

"Obviously, if we are receiving smaller number of students and many more of our staff are working from home, which I do anticipate will continue to be the case for some time to come, then we may not need the scale of buildings and facilities that we originally thought we needed."

There are concerns it may take three to four years for international student numbers to recover once the crisis is over, with older universities in Scotland the most exposed to a potential decline.