Overall, the sector is well placed to deal with the fallout, but those who entered pandemic in weak financial health could be at risk, says report

About a dozen UK universities face going bust in the long run as a result of the Covid-19 crisis if they do not get a government bailout or help with their debts, new research has suggested.

According to the analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the sector’s long-run losses could reach £19 billion – the equivalent of half of its overall income in one year – in the worst-case scenario.

However, the report adds, the picture is “highly uncertain” and universities could manage to limit their losses to £3 billion, representing 7.5 per cent of one year’s income.

More than half of the losses would be down to falls in tuition fee income from international students, which could amount to £4.3 billion in the worst case, and the effects of covering increasing pension deficits.

Read more : Simon Baker : Times Higher Education : 06 July 2020