The Scottish Government has today [Wednesday 6 May 2020] announced a one-off £75 million increase in funding for Scottish higher education to help mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 on university research.
Professor Andrea Nolan, Convener of Universities Scotland, said: “We welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition of the role research and innovation will play in supporting business and industry and strengthening our post Covid-19 economy and society. The pace of this commitment, and the injection of confidence it will give the research community within the sector, is very welcome indeed. We will work closely with Government and the Funding Council to ensure this resource has the most impact, including support for our PhD students, who are our pipeline of talent for future research and who have been adversely affected by the instability created by the pandemic.
“This early intervention to shore up support for university research and innovation is very welcome. Universities are exposed to the financial impact of the pandemic across a number of fronts and whilst they are taking all the mitigations they can to manage this within their own institutions, there is still a very considerable financial challenge to address in regard to loss of international tuition fee income. This will need a bespoke solution, and will need the support of both Governments, otherwise it risks directly and adversely affecting the education that universities can offer Scottish students and the tens of thousands of high value jobs within the sector.
“We look forward to progressing urgent and open conversations with the Funding Council about the distribution of this resource so that its targeted in ways that will generate significant return on investment. Universities’ work on research and innovation are both highly relevant to the recovery from the pandemic.”