Trinity is set to lose out on up to €40 million in commercial revenue this year alone, the College has confirmed, among a rake of blows dealt by the coronavirus to its money-making avenues.
Thomas Deane, a Trinity media relations officer, wrote in an email statement to The University Times that “initial projections “indicate an impact of €35m to €40m in the current financial year (to 30 September 2020) with a significant portion of these losses attributable to lost commercial revenue in the summer months”.
He said it “is difficult to assess the full financial impacts with any certainty as forecasts and advice continue to change”.
The Book of Kells, which brings in around €12 million a year to the college, has been closed since March 11th.
Meanwhile, the Summer Series – a week of concerts held in College Park in July – has been cancelled, Trinity confirmed today. The events are a source of income for the College over the summer months.
Provost Patrick Prendergast has already warned that Trinity could sacrifice up to €120 million over the next two years as international student numbers plummet as a result of the virus.
He told Pat Kenny on Newstalk that “education shouldn’t be way down the list” when it comes to state funding priorities, adding: “We’d be saying it’s just not good enough that education – third-level, secondary or primary – should be way down the list.”
Universities are lobbying the government for support ahead of forecasted losses of almost €400 million in 2020 and 2021.
Last week, Jim Miley, the director general of the Irish Universities Association, warned universities could lose out on up to €200 million in international student revenue next year, calling it a “massive blow”.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1, Miley said colleges are bracing for an 80 per cent reduction in the number of first-year students coming from abroad next year.
He said the government must invest in third-level education in order to enable the sector to “be part of the solution in rebooting the economy” after the coronavirus pandemic.
“What’s critical is that we need supports if we’re to meet those challenges and to be partners in the recovery with government”, Miley added.