BIG NEWS

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Government announces removal of cap on tuition fees

The Government has endorsed a report and practically announced that there will be no cap on university tuition fees, allowing universities to charge double what they currently receive and lead to higher interest rates on student loans. The winners, on the whole, are universities and the losers are students.

Now before you students all take a collective gasp, we are talking about the UK.

This announcement follows a Government review on the future of fees, and their approval of the policy. But one review proposed that universities that charge a certain amount in fees per year would lose a proportion of the fee to help cover the cost of student borrowing. This means that the cap may be removed, but not the restrictions, thus minimising the incentive for universities to ratchet up fees. What this means is that some universities will be able to charge more fees but may be worse off. The average undergradualte degree costs about £3,000.

The executive summary of that report is here. [PDF]

The main principles of the report are

1. More investment should be made available for higher education
2. Student Choice should be increased
3. Everyone who has the potential should benefit from higher education
4. No one should have to pay until they start to work
5. Payments should be affordable
6. Part time students should be treated the same as full time students for the cost of learning

The LibDems have signed pre-election promises to oppose increases in fees, campaigning to phase fees out. That’s not going to happen, so students are planning a big demonstration next month.

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