Universities have become big business in the UK in recent decades - educating around 2.3 million students, with an annual operating expenditure of over £37 billion at the last count.
But since the start of this academic year, we’ve heard massively mixed reports on how universities are coping; not least, with managing food provision.
In a term when COVID-19 has put new and unexpected pressures on existing frameworks the response from institutes has been hugely varied, from teams rising to the challenge and delivering innovative meal solutions, to “disgraceful profiteering". The situation's prompted student petitions, protests and even rent strikes.
So what has this unprecedented clash of virus, education and money taught us about the UK’s centres of learning – and what lessons have they learned, to help things run more smoothly next year?
Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.