Commenting on the announcements, Alex Proudfoot Chief Executive of Independent Higher Education said:
Alex Proudfoot, Chief Executive of Independent Higher Education said:
“The coronavirus pandemic has generated huge disruption and uncertainty in all walks of life, and higher education is no exception. We welcome the Government’s recognition that some providers may run into difficulties through no fault of their own, and the decision to make this emergency support available as a last resort. But this support is not to be available to the small independent providers at greatest risk, only to those larger institutions which already take public funding. The complexity and length of the process also makes it unsuitable for helping the SME providers with the most urgent cashflow needs.
“Independent higher education providers do not expect a bailout, but they do expect their Government to take ownership of the nationwide lockdown it ordered, and to recognise the impact this decision had in the form of significant lost revenues from the cancellation of intakes and the crucial summer short course market. Businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors were rightly helped to make up some of the income lost from closures. No less of a helping hand should be extended to education businesses – SMEs, for the most part – for whom the lockdown directly caused cancellations which have hit their bottom line. They urgently need the same consideration of a Business Rates Holiday and targeted grants to sustain them past this difficult period, and allow them to play their part in the essential task of retraining the many thousands of workers displaced by this crisis. “
- On 16th July 2020