Pay cuts, reduction in hours and voluntary severance are measures being taken by Durham University to address the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The university warned that it would need to take “further action” and was taking stock of the financial challenges it faced from the pandemic.

The university has launched a number of voluntary initiatives and is in the process of making an emergency budget for the coming academic year.

Durham University chief financial officer, Stephen Willis, said they are currently planning for a range of financial scenarios for the coming year(s), ensuring they have the appropriate level and type of resource available depending on need.

He added: “We will, as always, be working with our staff, students, and Trade Union representatives to achieve this.

“While efforts to reduce our non-staffing budgets will be ongoing, we’re making good progress towards creating our emergency budget for the academic year 2020/21.

“We’ve recently launched a range of voluntary initiatives to help reduce our staffing costs. As part of the measures available, members of staff can opt to voluntarily reduce their salary; an option which all members of the University Executive have chosen from 1 August 2020.

“Other voluntary measures include the ability to apply for a reduction in hours, voluntary severance, or to purchase additional annual leave.

“There will be some difficult decisions to take in the months ahead but we’ll do all we can to secure the long-run sustainability of the university.

“We’re confident that we can continue to deliver our outstanding research, education and student experience and secure the ongoing success of our university.”

A report revealed the North East’s universities were expected to lose £118 million as international students stay away from the UK.

In the report by economics and policy consultancy firm London Economics predicts most of there will be a loss of £118m to the area’s five universities in the next academic year thanks to a fall of 11,815 in new student numbers.

In the report, commissioned by the University and Colleges Union, it states that if universities are forced to cut spending in line with the loss, 1,496 of the 20,000 plus people employed by universities in the North East are expected to lose their jobs.