There has been much debate about the rising tuition fees in the higher
Students heading to university this autumn will be the last members of
a fading system.
From 2006, the basic fee of £1,200 a year will come to an end for
every course in every institute. With the new rules, institutions
will be able to set their own fees, up to a maximum of £3,000 a year.
Previously, the government contributed £1,200 regardless of its
This means that the government will no longer control the price of
courses being offered at universities.
A number of universities have realised that they cannot cover up the
expenditure of their education system. As a result many have found
themselves taking from other budgets such as research or maintenance
and some have even shut down. They have tried harder to put overseas
students in the centre of attention, these students are vital because
they can be charged up to the market limit. Oxford University is even
planning to cut down on the number of home students to accommodate the
overseas ones. “Oxford is considering increasing the proportion of
overseas students from 7% now to 12% in 2008, and the number of
postgraduates (who pay more) from 5,400 now to 7,000” 1
So as a result of increasing course fees and recruiting overseas
students, the government is more than likely to miss its target of
getting 50% of young people into university by 2010.
Charging more will still be impossible because of the low cap in fees.
Expanding popular courses where the cost of teaching extra students is
low will also be difficult. Universities are meant to recruit 5% more
or less of the same number as last year. According to the main article
if they recruit too few students they lose money; more surprisingly,
the same happens if they recruit too many. Even with the new fees,
students will be paying less than half the income associated with
teaching, with the rest coming from government funding bodies. A
university will lose out in government funding if they exceed their
target, but may also be penalised to recover extra student fees and
maintenance grants. This is because the new fees and grants are to be
paid by government and will only be repaid by students once they start
working. The opportunity to repay the fees and grants occurs when
undergraduate reaches £15,000 per annum. The article expressed below
is informing us that the less wealthy would face an equal opportunity
to continue onto higher education.
Meanwhile, the higher education minister, Alan Johnson said, the
country needs to invest and expand higher education to ensure a higher
proportion of young individuals from poorer backgrounds go to
university. "The fact that we're saying up-front fees will go, parents
won't have to pay anything, students...