Universities call for higher fees

There have been calls from universities to increase the maximum amount which can be charged for tuition fees, allowing them to rise with inflation, in order to protect the value of the fees.

This comes after University UK, representing leaders of universities, said that the value of the £9,000 a year fees introduced in 2012 has been decreasing.

Jo Johnson, the universities minister, was recently questioned in the House of Commons about whether the maximum cap on tuition fees would rise, and prompted to answer either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. However, he declined to make a definite answer and said that a review would be carried out.

Janet Beer, of Universities UK, said: “Allowing the value of the fee to be maintained in real terms is essential to allow universities to continue to deliver a high-quality learning experience for students.”

“Financial support for students’ living costs needs to be improved,” she continued, as she drew attention to claims that students’ concerns about support during their studying was more of a concern than the large debt they have once they graduate.

“The proportion of graduates unable to pay back student loans is already at such a rate that the Treasury is approaching the point at which it will get zero financial reward from the tripling of tuition fees,” said the president of the National Union of Students, Megan Dunn.