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Questions over Scottish Universities’ funding sustainability to be answered by Scottish Funding Council

9 November 2020

Senior figures at Scotland’s premier research education funding body will be questioned over the sustainability of the sector’s funding arrangements by the Scottish Affairs Committee on Wednesday.


The Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) chief executive Karen Watt and director Stewart Fancey appear before the Committee just weeks after SFC published an important sustainability review. The review highlights challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and how the approach to tackling these challenges could provide for future resilience and sustainability in the sector. 

This followed an earlier warning in April by the SFC that Scottish Universities could collectively face a shortfall of £651m in the 2020-21 academic year alone as a result of the crisis and pre-existing trends such as declining central government funding.

Purpose of the session

MPs on the Committee are likely to ask questions on;

  • the sustainability of the current funding model for Scottish universities and the long-term impact of Covid-19;
  • support for universities, their staff and their students through the pandemic;
  • options for teaching and learning in the next academic year;
  • the impact of the introduction of fees for EU students on Scottish Universities.

The session will be the third oral evidence session of the Committee’s Universities and Scotland Inquiry.  


Wednesday 11 November

At 2pm  

  • Karen Watt, Chief Executive, Scottish Funding Council; and
  • Stewart Fancey, Director, Scottish Funding Council.

Further information

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