Reduced to clear: Tuition fees could be cut to £6,000
Policy shake-up reveals plans for cheaper fees, but threatens higher interest rates for top earning grads
Labour plans to slash the whopping £9,000 tuition fee by £3,000 to make university more affordable.
Students could soon be paying £6,000 a year as Labour announce plans to cut extortionate tuition fees in their next manifesto.
The policy is set to be funded by taxing banks and forcing graduates to pay increased interest rates on their loans. The fun really doesn’t stop after uni…
While most students will benefit from the slashed £6k fees, it could be bad news for grads who score top jobs after university.
A higher interest rate could be introduced, which targets the wealthiest grads – meaning those who land well paid jobs will bear the burden.
So it could spell post-uni disaster for Law, Economics and Medicine grads who are expected to earn the highest upon leaving university.
But this isn’t the only option – another potential plan would see an even bigger reduction in fees.
By the time the final draft of the policy is confirmed, fees could even be slashed to £4,000 – almost the same price as before the policy was changed.
And there’s even talks of scrapping fees altogether and replacing them with a graduate tax system.
Regardless of whether Labour’s final decision is £4,000, £6,000, or £0, a reduction of university fees will certainly be popular amongst a large percentage of students – especially in comparison to the current £9,000.
The proposals have come after a worrying report suggests that huge a 45% of current student loans will never be repaid.
Many universities are struggling to justify charged their students £9,000, filling gaps in timetables with things like personal tutor meetings.
On the plus side it means that students might be more willing to splash the cash on student luxuries during their time at uni, safe in the knowledge that the amount they have to pay back would be far less than if they were paying the higher fees.
Students in the ‘generation gap’ – those studying between the price hike and the proposed reduction – are also set to be furious, as the institutions they have been paying £9,000 to attend will be offering the same course to students for two-thirds of the price.
Douglas Alexander, the party’s election co-ordinator, told viewers of Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show that the current policy is “simply is not working.”
Liam Byrne, Labour’s higher education spokesman, added:
“What we’ll have to do in our manifesto is take our starting point of £6k fees, explain how we see the situation for 2015 to 2020, and how we’ll see a long-term shift to a graduate tax.”
It’s not the worst case scenario though, as other plans being given consideration by Labour could see completely removed and replaced with a graduate tax or an entitlement of £15,000 to spread across the duration of the course.
The plan has been challenged by the Conservatives who are planning their own alteration to the existing policy.
They are currently considering stripping lower ranked universities, and those with high drop out rates, of the ability to charge £9,000 having realised that a large number of students aren’t getting their money’s worth.
Elite universities would be able to charge more than £9,000 if they could prove their graduates moved on to well paid jobs.