A university closure would provoke a ‘run on the university’, which will be much more expensive than the bailout the sector is currently seeking, says Adrian Bell, THE.

The UK government’s rejection of a bailout for UK universities is significant, not only for institutions that must now cut costs and jobs, but potentially for the UK taxpayer, too.

The requested £2.2 billion was turned down with hints from Whitehall that some future support might be forthcoming, if tied to reforms of the sector – some of which are already in government plans.

While the sector could do with reform, the government needs to be mindful that the change it seeks may end up more like a costly collapse, similar to the banking sector during the global financial crisis. The costs of that could be far more than £2.2 billion. It would look more like a university shakedown than a shake-up.

Read more : Adrian Bell : Times higher Education : 18 May 2020