As many as 40 English universities are thought to be struggling with pandemic-driven financial problems that could potentially breach their loan agreements with banks and see auditors declare concern about their ability to continue operating.

Those universities “most in trouble” will fall into three categories: small regional universities that may not have sufficient student demand in their regions and thus may not be “commercially viable”; “second or third” universities in their city; and “cusp” universities outside the biggest cities that are “not big enough to be research intensive, but have a lot of the costs” and “don’t have the heft” to attract international students in large numbers.

A significant number of universities would experience delays in getting their accounts signed off by auditors and miss the deadline to submit accounts to the Office for Students, the English sector regulator, which they said would indicate which universities were in “financial distress”. Earlier this year, the OfS said it would extend this deadline for submission of accounts by two months, from December to the end of February.

Noticia en Times Higher Education

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