Lord Browne’s review of Higher Education Funding today recommended that the tuition fee cap should be completely removed allowing universities to dictate what they charge students.
The review also recommended that a new system of financing should be put in place to accommodate a 10% increase in student places to make room for the recent wave of high demand.
According to the review, graduates will only start repaying the cost of their loans once they are earning £21,000 an increase on the current figure of £15,000.
Universities who do wish to charge higher fees will need to prove the standards of their teaching and fair admission.
The review advises that maintenance loans should be capped at £3,750 and that all debts should be repaid with interest at a level equivalent to that of government borrowing, currently at 5.3%.
The review also argues that part-time students should be able to recieve the same financial backing as full-time students. “Part-time study provides a second chance for people who missed out earlier in their lives, and it is important to level the playing field between part-time and full-time study”.
Defending his review on BBC’s Today Programme, Lord Browne said, “Word gets around. If you go to a university where they don’t do anything for you, people will get the point and not go,” he said.
He also believes few universities would charge “very high” fees and that improving the advice students wanting to enter Higher Education receive should be a priority.
In an online letter, VP Academic Affairs, Rob Stanning wrote, ‘Whilst I fully acknowledge that the government is in a precarious financial position, I do not believe that it should punish students because of this. In order to progress out of recession and financial difficulty we need to ensure that we are equipping the brightest and best learners in the UK with the skills and knowledge that will help to rebuild and restructure our national economy.
He adds, ‘Lord Browne’s recommendations go further than just tuition fees by suggesting that the government should withdraw public funding from all but certain ‘priority’ subjects. Whilst clinical medicine, nursing, science, technology and modern languages will receive priority, arts and humanities will inevitably suffer as a consequence of this. Are these disciplines not useful to the economy too in providing critical thinkers and graduates with strong analytical and research skills?’
Your Students’ Union wants to find out your views on the future of Higher Education, this five-minute survey can give them statistics to present to our government.
To fill out the survey go to: http://www.susu.org/surveys/feesandfunding/
A full copy of the letter by SUSU’s VP Academic Affairs, Rob Stanning can be viewed in full here: http://bit.ly/bJIaPC
Lord Browne’s full report can be found here: http://bit.ly/1WHqXQ