London’s higher education sector, the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences

The global coronavirus pandemic has created a crisis situation without precedent that is affecting all aspects of society in London, the UK and beyond, and most if not all business sectors including, of course, higher education (HE). The financial implications for at least some institutions could be severe, with consequences for both current and potential new students. Like other HE sector organisations,

London Higher would welcome urgent discussion regarding a package of measures aimed at helping to stabilise institutions whatever their mission types and size, and in so doing protect current and new students as well as research and wider interests.

In this position paper we outline the context in London and set out some of the key considerations that we believe should be taken into account during discussions around the impact of the crisis and in arriving at decisions on mitigation measures. This in order to keep the sector stable, best protect our universities and HE colleges in London and elsewhere, and support the needs of new and continuing students. We focus in particular on the impact of a major fall in international (EU and non-EU) recruitment that, combined with loss of other vital income, could threaten the stability of institutions, and on the potential for a knock-on impact that would have serious consequences for home students especially those from disadvantaged and BAME backgrounds.

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Published: March 2020