Lower student enrolments and lost income will pressure higher education institutions worldwide, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, said bond ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service.
Public U.S. universities will be under more pressure because of potential government funding cuts and lower income from investments, said the agency. Decreased investment income is especially on the cards for those universities that rely heavily on endowments, which are, more often than not, linked to the financial markets.
Lost income refers to money universities would have made, but for campus shutdowns, from services such as dining, and sporting events and academic conferences. And enrollments will likely be hit if the pandemic isn’t contained until the end of the year. Demand will also be down because thousands of families have been affected by coronavirus-related layoffs and with the global economy in downturn.
“We expect rated universities in all of our current jurisdictions – UK, US, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Mexico – to enroll fewer students for the next academic year than planned, due to the outbreak,” said Jeanne Harrison, a senior analyst at Moody’s, in a statement.