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Tuition fees hike puts students off, government defends decision

Written on:August 9, 2023
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Most prestigious universities have seen a sharper drop in applications

The Independent Commission on Fees, set up to monitor the impact of the £9,000-a-year maximum fees coming into effect this autumn, said that they reported “a clear drop” in overall numbers of applicants to English universities due to tripling of tuition fees.

Figures of the commission show that the number of would-be students applying to begin university courses in England in September dropped by 9% compared with last year.

Panel chairman Will Hutton, who is an Oxford college principal, said, “Although it is too early to draw any firm conclusions, this study provides initial evidence that increased fees have an impact on application behaviour.”

The report shows out that the number of English applicants seeking university places this autumn has slumped by 37,000 from the 2010 level while demand in the other home nations, where fees are lower or non-existent, has remained buoyant.

David Willetts, the Universities Minister, has admitted that the number of young people on degree courses has fallen since the introduction of tuition fees but insisted there still are more applications than places.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme, Willetts insisted that youngsters who would be receiving their A-level results next week would be applying in greater numbers than all but one previous year.

Willetts also said the new system, which sees students pay their fees once they have graduated, was fairer and “much more like an income tax”, with repayment starting once they earn £21,000 a year.

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3 Comments add one

  1. billT says:

    think the government is going backwards, one thing after anoter with this country.

  2. jen says:

    When I went to uni it was cheaper than today, I remember paying £1,500 per year. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones.

  3. poppy says:

    Is it any wonder? University fees are so high these days, I wouldn’t encourage my children to speand three years there and incur so much debt. It’s not worth it.

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