Professor Sir Steve Smith provides the first strategic reflections on the upheaval universities face caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

He says the UK university sector was now “looking over the edge into a very significant financial abyss………. uncertain where the bottom will be”.

He praises staff and students and highlights the contribution of research to finding solutions adding universities face making “a massive and coordinated effort to ensure that, when normality returns, we can recover quickly”, highlighting how universities “play a vital role in helping our towns and cities recover”.

“The ways in which the sector has responded to this current crisis will further embed universities into their communities, showing that they are truly anchor institutions in their regions,” he added.

Professor Sir Steve Smith was speaking at the UUK International Higher Education Forum which will be published by UUK on Monday 31st March and provides the first strategic reflections on the long term implications of the COVID-19 crisis for UK higher education with contributions from Australia, India, FutureLearn’s Simon Nelson, and leading UK academics including Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham and Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal of the University of Glasgow.

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