Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, has called on the Scottish Government to provide clear advice and financial support for Scottish Universities during the current covid-9 crisis.

Universities Scotland – the official representative body for universities in Scotland – has previously reached out to the Scottish Government citing the need for robust financial aid to help universities survive during the current uncertain economic times.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney, responded to this call for help two weeks ago, committing to working alongside Universities Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council to ensure that Scottish Universities would be supported and protected through the financial impact of covid-19.

However, since this commitment two weeks ago, Universities Scotland has confirmed that no such help has yet been received and many universities in Scotland are struggling to cope.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:

“It is vital that the Scottish Government gives universities in Scotland the help that it has promised to them.

“Universities do not only need help immediately but they will continue to require financial protection for a long time to come as they rebuild themselves from the damaging effects of covid-19.

“Guidance from the Scottish Government regarding what support universities are entitled to has thus far been unclear. Due to the mix of funding schemes that Scottish universities rely on, it is uncertain as to what support packages they can take advantage of. It is the job of the Government to provide this clarity.

“I hope to see swift action from the Government in the coming days to ensure that Scotland’s cherished universities do not experience irreversible damage at the hands of covid-19.”

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