Universities: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Cormack Lord Cormack Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide financial assistance to UK universities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The government has announced a UK-wide range of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and various business support packages to assist businesses whose viability is threatened by the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and COVID Corporate Financing Facility. Higher education providers that meet the published criteria for the loan and financing schemes should approach their bank and begin to apply for the relevant scheme, if they think that they need that support.

We are working closely with higher education providers and the Office for Students (OfS), as the regulator for the higher education sector in England, to ensure that we maintain an up-to-date understanding of the financial risks and implications COVID-19 is bringing to bear on the sector. OfS has stated that one of its key priorities during the pandemic is to support the financial sustainability of the sector. Providers with concerns about their financial viability or sustainability have been encouraged to contact OfS at the earliest opportunity.

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