Tuition fees could finally drop to £7,500 a year
Maintenance grants may also become available again
Plans have been unveiled to slash tuition fees to £7,500 a year – but only by 2021.
The proposal in the newly published Augur Review suggests "some students are charged too much for their degrees", and has been backed by Theresa May.
The review hopes to also bring back maintenance grants of up to £3,000 a year for lower-income students, after the Prime Minister claimed scrapping them in 2016 "did not work".
Theresa May says scrapping tuition fees in England would be "unaffordable" and "regressive", saying she supports lowering fees to £7,500 instead
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) May 30, 2019
The Augar Review was launched by former banker Philip Augur to make easier students’ transition for Further to Higher Education, and improve value for money “for both taxpayers and graduates.” The “level, terms and duration of students' contribution” to their studies were also considered.
The review claims not enough students are repaying their loan in time to meet the full costs of their degrees.
The proposed solution would see current fees drop from £9,250 to £7,500 a year. The interest rate on loans, which is currently 6.3 per cent, would also be lowered.
— Graeme – FossilArcade (@FossilArcade) May 30, 2019
The review hopes a reduction in fees and interest will encourage students to begin paying back their loan sooner. Rather than paying back the loan at salaries starting at £25,725, repayments would start once graduates are earning £23,000.
This would mean graduates will be paying back their loans at a slower rate – some could still be paying off their loan 40 years after graduating.
The review also proposed bringing back maintenance grants for lower income students.
Theresa May supported the reintroduction of the grants, saying getting rid of them in 2016 "did not work." She added: "I believe it is time to bring them back".
These changes will now have to be decided by the next Prime Minister after May announced her resignation last week.
The Prime Minister said: "It will be up for the next government to decide whether to follow the recommendation of the review".
NEWS: Govt Augar report to 'end of student loans' &
– Tuition fees cut to £7,500
– Return maintenance grants to return
– Increase annual repayments
– Extend loan to 40 yrs
My full analysis of what it really means (ie most'd pay more, and pay longer) https://t.co/eKDIS2dX01 RT
— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) May 30, 2019
The review also calls for greater transparency regarding how much parents are expected to pay towards their children's higher education.
According to the review, middle-class parents should be told they are expected to pay up to £15,000 for rental contribution if the student comes from a household making over £62,187 a year.
No changes have been made yet and we will have to wait for a new Prime Minister to see what changes will eventually be made to university tuition fees and maintenance grants.