Covid-19 and a reliance on revenue from international students have raised doubts over whether Scotland’s universities are in a financially sustainable position, the higher education minister has warned.
Richard Lochhead said the pandemic had been a “wake-up call” for institutions which have in recent years used income from growing overseas recruitment to cross-subsidise other activities.
While welcoming their success in attracting students from around the world, he suggested the “multi-billion-pound” sector may have become over-dependent on the money they bring in.
He also told MPs universities would have to examine whether the existing financial model is “sustainable” going forward as governments look to tighten controls on international travel and contain the spread of new, more transmissible coronavirus variants.
It comes after The Herald told this week how higher education institutions are facing losses of £132 million in 2020/21 as Covid…