University fees cap to rise to £9,000

02 Nov 2010

 The BBC is reporting tonight that the government will announce tomorrow that the tuition fees cap will be raised to £9,000.

The Universities Minister, David Willetts, is expected to make a Commons statement tomorrow, giving the government's response to the Browne Review.

Universities that set fees above £6,000 will be expected to use the extra income to improve widening participation through bursaries and other measures to help students from poorer homes. 

The BBC also said that the repayment of loans would start once graduates are earning over £21,000 a year, the level proposed by Browne. 

It also said that better-off students would be able to pay fees up-front without taking out loans.

The Browne Review had proposed no limit on fees but this was felt to be politically unacceptable to Liberal Democrats in the coalition government.

Ministers had considered setting the cap at £7,000 but it seems some universities that felt this level was too low have lobbied to get the higher cap. There were suggestions that some universities might have considered going private if the cap was set too low.

Why universities wanted higher 'cap'

In his review, Lord Browne indicated that a tuition fee of £7,000 would be roughly the level  universities would require to 'maintain investment at current levels'.

This appeared to anticipate the cuts in the Comprehensive Spending Review, which cut funding for teaching by 40% (or £2.9 billion) by 2014-15.

 Several universities realised that a 'cap' of £7,000 would give them no more than a standstill budget and they lobbied for a higher cap, believing they need that to maintain global competitiveness.

In future, only science, technology, engineering and maths subjects will receive government funding for teaching. Other subjects will have to be funded from fees.

User Comments

Laurence Read - 22 Nov 2010

How to make University fees fairer

The University Fees system as projected now is unfair for one main reason: interests
1. Rich people will pay less than the less well off ones. The rich people who will pay upfront won’t have any interests to pay on top of the university fees.

2. A tool for the banks to make more money: the penalty for early repayments. Why? This is a pure bank logic! If the money is repaid early than it can be invested. So where is the loss? Why make the students suffer even more?

3. The less you will earn the more you will owe! The new system says: students won’t have to repay before they earn £21,000. Fine, but until they reach that level, the interests are running! And if they lose their job they won’t have to repay, but during the unemployment the interests are running!

This is without mentioning that because of these loans a young couple will end up starting in life with an average of £80,000 debts (tuitions +interests+ accommodations) before even buying a car, a house, having kids, saving for their pensions and saving for their kids university fees!
+ considering that the pension age is postponed further & further, with less jobs in the public sector & thus in the private sector it will be hard for them to find jobs…and the interests are still running…
The university officials tell us to look at it as an investment. It would be a bad one as there is no jobs guaranty and no salary guaranty.
The future is rather dark for the next generation…

The solution to make the University Fees fairer: the loan should be interests free. The Treasury who lends the money to the student should be able to borrow interests free from the banks. Why?
The banks have landed us all in this mess. It cost the Tax payer billions to bail them out! It is time the banks contribute to the society sacrifices and bear the costs of these interests!

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