THE EFFECTS of the worldwide financial crisis are even being felt in unexpected places – such as universities. The publication University World News, reports they have already started reducing staff and cutting back on expenditure. The income of universities is falling because students are finding it more difficult to obtain loans.
South African correspondent Karen MacGregor says local universities are already suffering as they are earning lower returns on their investments and because the weaker rand is making important equipment more expensive to import. University principals in SA are also worried that Government might decide to cut subsidies because of the current economic downturn.
In Britain, 12 universities are facing a possible total income loss of £77m if Icelandic banks are unable to make arrangements to meet their financial commitments, says correspondent Diane Spencer.
From Australia, correspondent Geoff Maslen reports that some universities have already started retrenching staff even before the full impact of the crisis strikes them. In October alone, 500 academic and general staff members were declared redundant.
Rebecca Warden says universities in Spain, especially in Madrid, suffered a serious blow when their government’s contribution to running costs was cut by 30% in September.
And from the United States, Geoff Maslen again reports that though universities there haven’t as yet experienced serious cutbacks, concerns are growing on campuses and no university will escape unscathed.