Tuesday, October 12, 2010


“Lord Browne has launched a double assault on students with his proposal to abolish the cap on tuition fees and introduce commercial interest rates on student loans. Taken together these measures will result in students paying tens of thousands of pounds more for a university education.

If introduced these proposals will be a disaster for students, society and the economy. Instead of denying people the opportunity to go to university the government should increase investment in higher education because a highly skilled workforce is the key to Britain’s future economic prosperity.”

Free Education Campaign


Commenting on the report, UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "This is a savage attack on what a university is and what it can offer to all students - not just those with deep pockets - as it effectively privatises the cost of higher education from state to family.

Browne's proposals would make our public degrees the most expensive in the world. At an enormous cost of between £40,000 and £70,000 for one child's education, it would be the final nail in the coffin for an affordable university degree for many ordinary families.

As a result of this creation of a market for student places, we would see departments and universities close and a devastating effect on the curriculum as only so-called priority courses survive. It would become almost impossible to develop courses in new areas of knowledge without directly perceived economic benefit. If enacted, these proposals will weaken our position as a global knowledge centre."


Commenting on the release of the review, Aaron Porter, NUS President said:
"If adopted, Lord Browne's review would hand universities a blank cheque and force the next generation to pick up the tab for devastating cuts to higher education. The only thing students and their families would stand to gain from higher fees would be higher debts.

A market in course prices between universities would increasingly pressure on students to make decisions based on cost rather than academic ability or ambition. Those already feeling the pinch will clearly be unwilling to take such a gamble and face being priced out of the universities that would opt to charge sky-high fees.

There is no clear assurance that a hike in fees would improve student choice or quality and the evidence since fees tripled four years ago shows that neither student satisfaction nor quality has improved. Universities have not made the case for what they would do with more.

Any graduate contributions to universities should be determined by earnings in the real world after graduation, not fixed prices based on unreliable and misleading guesswork about average salaries."

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