Response to IFS Annual Report on Education Spending in England

03 November 2020

In response to the IFS 'Annual Report on Education Spending in England', which found that universities face significant funding shortfalls and heightened uncertainty due to Covid challenges, Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

"Covid-19 has had a significant impact on individuals, all parts of society and the economy. As the IFS has set out, within higher education it has exposed and, in some cases has exacerbated, existing financial challenges facing the sector.

"Russell Group universities have rightly invested significant amounts of time, money and effort to make campuses Covid-secure for students and staff and provide a high-quality learning experience through a blend of online and in-person teaching. However, the ongoing economic uncertainty created by the pandemic means they are also having to make difficult decisions, such as pausing capital projects, freezing recruitment, and re-evaluating long-term pension costs to ensure a sustainable scheme for all.

"To address these issues and protect the UK’s world leading HE and research sectors, we have made a series of recommendations to Government to make funding for teaching and research more sustainable. These include an uplift to QR funding, which allows universities to respond to the needs of their communities and tackle the big problems facing society. The flexibility of that model also allows universities to respond to emerging issues like the pandemic by diverting resources to vaccine development. A guaranteed long-term investment on a per-student basis will also protect the high-quality teaching and learning provided by universities that will deliver the skilled workforce Britain needs to bounce back from Covid-19."

Media Enquiries
Policy Enquiries

Follow us on Twitter