Tuition fees are frozen – but many students are struggling financially (Photo: Shutterstock / Syda Productions)
University tuition fees will be frozen for an additional year, according to government plans.
Students will pay a maximum of £9,250 per course in the 2021/2022 academic year, as proposed.
The cap was frozen for two years following a historic review of education after 18 years, which recommended a reduction in tuition fees to £7,500.
A tuition freeze was announced yesterday, while school principals are debating the possibility of lowering tuition.
But union bosses are sceptical of any radical change and say the government is wasting an opportunity to make a real difference to students and education.
The government has announced a cap on tuition fees to provide more value to students. This paper is part of an initial response to an 18-year study on education and finance by finance expert Philip Augar.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May commissioned a study on higher education funding, which was published in 2019.
It also recommended that scholarships for the poorest students be reinstated, but this was not mentioned in the interim response.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May ordered an inquiry into higher education funding (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Other proposed changes could include the introduction of minimum degree admission requirements, which higher education unions would label as regressive.
Westminster will consider further reforms in the spring before making a final decision on a full spending review.
The DfE insisted that this was not the right time to complete the review in its entirety.
But the Union of Universities and Colleges said this was not enough and called for a faster decision.
Some universities claim that tuition fees have not kept pace with inflation, making it difficult to fund some courses.
Pupils describe their feeling of being ignored because many of them are struggling with financial difficulties (Photo: Getty Images)
Others criticize academic institutions that show remarkable disregard for their payers.
said Joe Grady, Secretary General of the Union of Colleges and Universities: Unfortunately, this mid-term review confirms that the current system will not change radically.
Government officials say they want to end the illusion that a degree is the only path to success and a good job, and that higher and technical education is a second-class option in the Skills for Work strategy document.
But Professor Julia Buckingham, president of Universities UK (UUK), said any reform must be in the best interests of students, the economy and society and supported by adequate funding.
She warned that imposing minimum requirements on new students would be a regressive measure that would discourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds whose previous educational experiences have negatively impacted their performance at university and ignores the evidence that many of these students succeed at university.
A university degree remains a good choice for many, and the growing number of jobs in business and the public sector require the skills of university graduates; business and society cannot afford to reduce the number of university graduates.
Rising tuition fees may cause some people to turn away from university education, as evidenced by the fact that a Political Science graduate was unemployed six months after graduation when he had applied for 500 jobs.
New graduates are more likely to feel anxious and less satisfied with their lives than those who avoid college, according to a study released in December.
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