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Coronavirus developments at a glance—31 March

Europe told to prioritise R&D, and a cancer funder cuts back amid Covid-19 chaos

The European Commission must prioritise research when it changes its proposal for the EU’s 2021-27 budget to provide support for the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, academic leaders have said.

In Germany, a demand to cancel the upcoming summer term in Germany due to the Covid-19 crisis has met with resistance from several higher education organisations, including the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK).

The UK’s largest independent funder of cancer research is anticipating a 25 per cent decline in income from fundraising over the next financial year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. That news came as UK’s largest public funder of research launched a web portal for streamlined grant applications during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Universities Superannuation Scheme board of trustees has met to discuss next steps after the collapse of world stock markets which forced the academic pension scheme to self-report to the Pensions Regulator.

And the National Union of Students has called for all “non-essential” exams for first and second year undergraduates to be cancelled, as Wales’ education minister Kirsty Williams has written to universities urging them to ensure that they communicate clearly with students who are still in their student accommodation.