How reliant are UK universities on tuition fees and how will they adapt in a post-pandemic world?

McCluskey, Lori (2020) How reliant are UK universities on tuition fees and how will they adapt in a post-pandemic world? Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 44 (3). ISSN 2046-5378

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    Abstract

    A magnet for international students, UK universities rely heavily on international tuition fees to maintain financial stability. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting this stability at risk, with the number of students coming to the UK set to drop. Britain has the second highest number of international students in the world yet it is unclear how many will matriculate come Autumn 2020 (Johnson, 2020). This essay aims to explain how reliant UK universities are on tuition fees and what the potential impact going forward may be if universities suffer drops in student numbers and fee income - mainly from international students - as a result of the pandemic. This will be explained by identifying universities’ income sources and identifying which countries the majority of international students come from.