Emma Hardy MP, Shadow Minister for Universities, has called on the government to underwrite higher education funding to protect and prevent institutions from going bankrupt as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
An over-reliance on international tuition fees and an unequal regional distribution of research grants mean higher education finances are vulnerable to the crisis. And without government support, Labour is concerned that many universities face closure or having to operate at a reduced capacity, with a damaging knock-on effect for jobs and social mobility.
In a letter to the Minister of State for Universities, Emma Hardy said:
“Labour is calling on the government to guarantee that no university will be allowed to go bankrupt.
“The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the failures and weaknesses within the government’s higher education policy.
“Our universities are not just businesses and should not be treated as such. Our higher education institutes provide value to our country every day, supplying final year medical students to fight on the frontline of our NHS, creating PPE, and providing accommodation for key workers.”