Universities in England still grappling with the impact of Covid-19 are facing “significant” financial risks from high drop-out rates and soaring pension costs, according to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
The IFS annual report on education spending says there will be funding shortfalls in colleges and universities, where the pension deficit has increased from £3.6bn in March 2018 to an estimated £21.5bn last August.
Researchers say there will be mounting long-term costs for the government, with a predicted £12bn shortfall in student loan repayments as graduates struggle to find work in a labour market devastated by the pandemic. For universities, there are likely to be additional losses from accommodation, conferences and catering.
New Zealanders coming home for Christmas warned quarantine hotels may be full
New Zealand’s quarantine hotels are approaching capacity as the military warns there may not be room to house Kiwis planning to return home for Christmas.
Some 65,000 people have passed through New Zealand’s quarantine hotels since the borders closed in mid-March. Despite the facilities generally being four- and five-star establishments, there have been multiple escape attempts from them, and they have been denounced by a conservative US television host as “Covid camps”.
Now seven weeks out from Christmas, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, who is charged with overseeing the management of the hotels, has warned that many Kiwis will be disappointed if they haven’t prebooked their Christmas travels as the quarantine accommodation available for that period is nearly at capacity.
This comes as a new system beginning Tuesday requires returning New Zealanders to have booked a place in a managed isolation facility in advance of boarding a flight home: