The financial health of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland was under “serious threat” from the coronavirus pandemic, according to its principal.
Speaking to BBC Scotland on Thursday, Professor Peter Mathieson said that the university’s annual income could drop by up to 150 million pounds.
“We’re trying to be honest and transparent with our staff, so we’ve said that at the moment we’re looking at things like limiting pay rises and limiting promotions in the next academic year because that will save us money.
“We haven’t started talking about redundancies but all universities are looking at their future size and their shape.
“Obviously, if we are receiving smaller number of students and many more of our staff are working from home, which I do anticipate will continue to be the case for some time to come, then we may not need the scale of buildings and facilities that we originally thought we needed,” he told the BBC.
The possible impact on staff and wages has already been announced.
Universities across Scotland fear they could lose out on 500 million pounds between them.
Edinburgh, which has an annual income of 1 billion pounds, has running costs, including wages, of around 90 million pounds a month.
The single biggest challenge for the university is the likelihood of a large drop in the number of students from outside Europe, some of whom pay tuition fees of around 30,000 pounds a year, said the BBC report.
The university still does not know how big the drop will be but there have been warnings it could range from a 25 per cent fall to a complete collapse.