The University of Kent is considering hundreds of job cuts arising from significant financial issues.
The University is in a deficit of over £60 million and has appointed a financial recovery board to attempt to remedy its financial situation.
In a recent statement, vice-chancellor Karen Cox has stated: “Our income is not sufficient to cover our costs and there are some hard choices ahead.”
To attempt to remedy this, a voluntary severance scheme is soon to be launched to save money on staffing. The University’s newly-formed financial recovery board is also working with its existing bank lenders to protect any current loans.
It is likely that several departments, particularly those for arts subjects, will face severe cuts or be closed entirely.
Our income is not sufficient to cover our costs and there are some hard choices ahead
– University of Kent vice-chancellor Karen Cox
In particular, there are fears that the pandemic will cause a reduction in the numbers of international students applying to UK universities .
Many Chinese students have voiced their dissatisfaction over how the UK government has handled the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK. There has also been calls for refunds of tuition fees and students due to enroll next academic year have delayed their entry until January. Currently there are over 100,000 Chinese students in the UK, often paying as much as £40,000 in yearly fees. The loss of some of these students would negatively impact the funding of many UK universities.
Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, Nick Hillman, has stated that: “The No. 1 issue on [UK universities] risk radar is a decline in international students-on which they rely for income.”
With over 31% of the student population coming from overseas, a potential decrease in the number of international students studying in the UK would exacerbate the financial issues from which the University of Kent is struggling.