FEE INCREASE ANTICIPATED as Cambridge continue Teaching Excellence Framework

Money money money?

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It has been confirmed that Cambridge will participate in the second year of the Teaching Excellence Framework. The University Council and General Board decided this on Monday. 

It has been anticipated that the TEF will lead to increased fees, as it enables participating universities an inflation-dependent fee increase up to at least 2021.

Unrealistic price of education?

The government scheme links the funding of universities, and thus the fees, to the quality of teaching provided. By Spring 2017, universities will find themselves provided with a ranking of gold, silver or bronze, which will last until 2021. Those with Gold and Silver rankings will be permitted to raise fees by the full rate of inflation for those three years.

The Cambridge University Reporter has already detailed that they expect fees to increase “to £9,250 for those students starting their undergraduate studies in October 2017”, due to participation in the first year of the TEF.

The Tab contacted Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, who said:

“While I believe it is important to highlight teaching quality, removing the fees cap in this way is plain wrong. This policy could create a hierarchy of education, with poorer students and those whose backgrounds deter them from taking on debt unable to access higher-quality education. 

“This ideological move goes hand in hand with the scrapping of student grants, with both measures destined to seriously impede social mobility. Recent UCAS figures show the gap between rich and poor students being granted university places has reached a record high. Education should be open to everyone, whatever their background, and Labour is opposed to any attempt to close it.

 “The NUS tells me that 76% of students are opposed to the Teaching Excellence Framework, which shows the strength of feeling about this – the Government should listen.”

In November, an open letter was signed by over 400 members of the University protesting against TEF2, signed by every member of CUSU, including Roberta Huldisch who has been incredibly vocal about her opposition to the scheme, and multiple JCR Presidents.

A University of Cambridge spokesperson told The Tab “The University will participate in Year Two of the Teaching Excellence Framework. Cambridge welcomes the Government’s desire to recognise teaching excellence, and supports the continued emphasis on a higher education system that embeds principles of diversity, choice and quality.”

When asked about the impact on access to the University, a spokesperson said ”The University is committed to the principle that no UK student should be deterred from applying to or studying at Cambridge for financial reasons. We offer one of the most substantial bursary schemes in the UK and spend around £6.5million on bursaries annually.”

 “Cambridge provides a world-class education and access to the very best academics, resources and support. To this end, we invest, on average, almost twice the current fee on each undergraduate student every year.”