The emergency controls and restrictions are put in an attempt to battle against the global threat caused by the coronavirus. These have seen a direct effect on the universities. Universities in England are stressed over the number of student recruitment to be able to stay put and even work out financially well.
There are many concerns regarding the same that are being erupted every day. But most of the universities are worried over that too few candidates might apply for admission this time, leaving them financially unstable.
Financial Support from Government Necessary.
“Financial support from Government for universities is necessary,” said the university group’s chief executive Alistair Jarvis understanding the need of the hour. It is being well acknowledged that these restrictions and controls are being practiced to stop a free-for-all in student recruitment.
But, Universities in the UK noted that “any stability measures” has not been decided upon yet. He said that any decision regarding student recruitment in universities like the control on student numbers would need a particularly detailed study.
Then only it will be acted upon. So far, there hasn’t been any such approval by Universities UK. He further stated that “There would need to be a clear case of the benefits, any proposal would have to be sector-led not imposed, strictly time-limited and carefully crafted to avoid unintended consequences.”
The number of international students might see a reduction. Sir Chris Husbands is the Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University. He, however, feels that the control on student recruitment was necessary to combat the current crisis. This is to ensure that institutions have a viable first-year-student population.
Chris also highlighted the same concern in a paper to the Higher Education Policy Institute. He wrote, “radical action is needed on university admissions for the foreseeable future. This means suspending the market in admissions”.
It is also expected that the number of overseas students might see a downfall due to similar reasons. This contributes the need to the need for funding from home students even more important. Many students are expected to mark this year as drop and continue their further studies from the next session. This has caused uncertainty among universities about whether they’ll re-open campuses for the autumn.
Student control might limit universities’ expansion
Some universities made use of false acclaiming schemes to attract students offering them seats regardless of their score. They were strictly questioned by higher education authorities and were made to stop it. Some students might be willing to switch to the promise of the unconditional offer.
This might be because the A-level exams are already scrapped provided that grades be given based on the teacher’s assessment. The Office for Students and the Universities Minister Michelle Donelan were highly concerned about this issue.
But the main concern remains that some universities might face such an acute shortage of student applications this time. This may hamper their financial stability. This would directly relate to that individual Universities would face limits to their expansion.
What about the choice of students?
This not only will affect them financially but also limit on student recruitment. This would also put a limit on student choice, thus reducing or cutting the chance of famous universities to add other places.
It will also question about the consequence of the universities which offered more places than allowed. “The crisis is fast becoming the catalyst for the return of student number caps.” The director said this of the Higher Education Policy Institute, Nick Hillman.
He also noted that this might bring some short-term stability. But more than that, it will limit the expansion of the university and the choice of individual students.
A Department for Education said that the department would continue to work closely with the sector to manage the impact of this pandemic.