Parliamentary Briefing

House of Lords - Financial pressures on higher education debate,

30 Mar 2023

Higher education institutions in England continue to deliver world-class teaching and research against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. By 2024–25, the £9,250 annual tuition fee will only be worth £6,600 in 2012–13 prices.

As with other sectors of the economy, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are still being keenly felt, exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis and paired with a near decade-long freeze of tuition fees means that universities are year-on-year being compelled to do more with less. This leads inevitably to cost-cutting measures, including course closure. Action is rapidly required to ensure that higher education funding is appropriate and sustainable if standards and option for students are not to be further eroded.

Modern universities are committed to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. However, the substantial rise in energy costs is having a significant impact on modern universities’ finances, while there are many competing calls on their budgets and they face continued real-term cuts to funding.

This briefing outlines the key issues on this topic

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