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Scottish funding boost for universities highlights need for urgent support from Westminster

6 May 2020

UCU today welcomed a funding boost from the Scottish government for universities and said the Westminster government had to provide the funding and support required to protect universities from potentially huge losses in income.

A report last month for UCU highlighted a £2.5bn black hole caused by the loss of funding from student fees and teaching grants. It warned that the UK economy faced a £6bn hit and a loss of 62,000 jobs without urgent government intervention.

UCU Scotland Official Mary Senior said: 'This funding is welcome as universities face a potentially enormous drop in income from international student fees as a result of the pandemic. While the money will go some way to plugging a widening funding gap, clearly it cannot cover the full losses.

'We want universities to use this funding to redeploy early career researchers and staff on insecure contracts, so their expertise continues to benefit university work, rather than them being left to languish on benefits.

'The Scottish government's funding announcement highlights the need for urgent action from the UK government to support our universities, students and staff. These are unprecedented times and without those guarantees to underwrite those losses, our universities risk being greatly damaged at just the time they are needed most.'

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