Time to review student funding?

After all the pain the Lib Dems went through with the student funding policy, the least we could expect is that it would do what it said on the tin.

But that has turned out not to be the case.  At the time when they were debated in the Commons, we were told to expect to see the average university charging around £6,000 in annual fees.  In fact, the average looks like it may be around £2,500 higher.

To make matters worse, it would appear that the government will now be faced with a stark choice: cut student numbers or have to pay more than they expected to underwrite the loans needed to pay for all these high tuition fees.

Many have suggested that it is time the Lib Dems began pushing for a review of a policy which has caused us so much harm and which does not appear to be working.  What do you think?

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4 comments on “Time to review student funding?
  1. Alison Smith says:

    It was clear from the start that the sums re tuition fees were based on a number of false assumptions. It was always likely that more universities than predicted would seek to charge the maximum, since (1) unis are worried about cuts in their funding from government and (2) they don’t wish to be seen to be offering a discounted product. I always argued that the cost of loans would end up negating any savings made from the changes. Having said that, there are some Tories who would gladly cut student numbers, and it always looked like this was a way of achieving that aim through the back door.

  2. Mark Whiley says:

    I think now is a very important time to be pushing a review of this, especially when the Higher Education White Paper is being delayed to no end and that most of the changes we made to provisions being made to those from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds above 6k have been ignored. Offa don’t seem to be putting their oar in much either.

    It would gain us a lot of respect in the public eye to be pushing the Tories once again on THEIR policy failing and putting the screws on Willetts. Call him out on not wanting a public debate whilst Cable has been honest and open and put forward a graduate tax plan (time to revisit with perhaps a comprehensive graduate tax plan ourselves).

    Otherwise Labour will continue to make capital on this. I can see Graduate Tax Flyers out at Freshers Fayres across the country, kicking our nuts in.

  3. Dave Eastham says:

    With all the fuss over Tuition fees, not least that the public perception is largely that students will have to pay the fees up-front (or at least so says the man upstairs on the 176 to Penge). The real issue that was never debated, is that the Browne report has turned Higher education into a market, or perhaps, merely completed a process that has been going on for years under both Tory and Labour governments. It seems that the net result of the Lib Dem intervention to turn tuition fees into effectively a graduate tax, has resulted in a potential drain on the public purse from 2015 (unpaid tuition fees due to students never earning enough to qualify to pay ‘em back), which possibly can only be controlled by reducing numbers in higher education. Which is not something I would think that most Lib Dems would regard as a solution. So yes, we need to reopen the debate and actually debate the real issues this time.

  4. David Meagher says:

    We need industry to invest in the future by funding students, and tax breaks in return for employing them. We also need to raise the level of income before poorer students pay. Students could then sign contracts keeping them at the companies for a period of time to help pay for the company’s financial support and on a reduced level of pay. Better than facing life with a debt.

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