This House of Commons library briefing paper gives a brief overview of the possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the further and higher education sectors on England. It outlines the implications for funding and recruitment of students and sets out issues of concern to students.

On 20 March 2020 colleges and universities were closed in response to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The closure of post 18 education institutions has created significant issues for providers and students. The main concerns of providers are the size of the drop in income from next academic year due to a fall in international student fees and future volatility in student recruitment. In 2018-19 there were almost half a million international students at UK universities; 20% of all students. The greatest number were from China: just over 120,000. Total income from overseas student fees was £7.0 billion in the same year. This was 17.3% of all income, more than the total income from research grants and contracts.

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has suggested that if no new international students enrolled next academic year the higher education sector would lose around 10% of income, assuming no changes in domestic students.

Students are concerned about accommodation charges, arrangement for examinations in 2020 and adequacy of student support in the light of loss of income from part-time work.

The further education sector is also concerned about the impact of a loss in funding following a sustained period of cuts in funding.

This paper gives an overview of some of the main areas of concern.

Information on these issues is available on the following websites:

Students should also look on their university or college websites for specific information.

Readers should be aware that this is a fast moving issue and this briefing was correct at the time of writing, 16 April 2020. For later information readers should consult Government and stakeholder websites.