Key points as of 15 November

  • Complete
    cut in teaching subsidy to arts, humanities and social sciences announced.
    STEM subjects and some modern languages to be protected.
  • Cap on
    student fees to be set at £9,000 with no government levy to pay (as
    originally mooted in the Browne Review) but stringent requirements for
    widening participation and fair access for those who charge over £6,000. It will be up to
    the university or college to decide what it charges, including whether it
    charges at different levels for different courses. According to UCU calculations, a
    three-year degree with annual tuition fees of £6,000 would cost a total of
    £38,286, including maintenance loans and interest payments.
  • Tuition
    charges will be determined by individual universities as from 2012/13.
  • A new £150m
    National Scholarships Programme will be targeted at “bright potential
    students from poor backgrounds”. Students from families with incomes of up
    to £25,000 will be entitled to a more generous student maintenance grant
    of up to £3,250 and those from families with incomes up to £42,000 will be
    entitled to a partial grant.
  • Maintenance loans will be available to
    all. 
  • Graduates start paying back
    their tuition fees when they earn £21,000. The repayment will be on 9% of
    income above £21,000, and all outstanding repayments will be written off
    after 30 years. A real rate of interest will be charged on loan
    repayments.
  • Analysis of data by the Higher Education
    Policy Institute (HEPI) shows that the new system could place a bigger
    burden on future tax payers due to large sums of unpaid debt being written
    off as graduates reach the 30-year limit for repayment. HEPI warn that
    this may force the government to keep a strict cap on student numbers.
  • The annual cost of studying
    for a degree has increased by 311.5% since 1988, according to research
    released by UCU. With tuition fees of £9,000, students starting university
    in 2012 will face a bill for the first year of their degree (tuition and
    maintenance loans) 101% higher than their contemporaries who started this
    year.
  • A White
    Paper on HE Reform will be ready in the Winter and then a broader higher
    education bill later on in this current, extended session
Posted by Einar Thorsen