In a letter to students and staff, Principal Sally Mapstone said the university is facing a £25 million shortfall in its financial position and warned it will have to take some ‘difficult decisions’ about its future.
She wrote: “You will all have seen, and in many cases be personally familiar with, the profound economic effects of this crisis. We are protected from so much in St Andrews, but not this. I need to make you all aware that, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the university is already facing a hole in our financial position of over £25 million this year.”
“This is largely made up of losses in research grants through the lockdown period, the loss of conference and accommodation rentals over the summer, and our decision to act in a socially responsible manner by being one of the first universities in the UK to release students from their accommodation contracts. It does not take account of further losses to revenue which we would reasonably anticipate incurring as the global Covid-19 crisis continues.”
“It is as serious a financial crisis as our university has faced in modern times, and it will mean that we cannot do everything you want or expect us to, and that we have to take some very difficult decisions about our future.”
”She continued: “We welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has acknowledged the scale of the financial crisis facing HE in Scotland, but we should not assume that aid will be forthcoming, or in the quantities that we require, given the devastation and raw need we are witnessing in other key sectors of our economy, and society.”
“Let me be very open with you; there is no magic money pot in St Andrews. We must plan to do this by ourselves, with what we have at hand.”