Skip to main content

University Funding System 'Worst of both Worlds'

The funding system for England's universities of tuition fees and repayments is the "worst of both worlds", says an independent study.
The Higher Education Commission has cast doubt on the long-term financial sustainability of the current system.
It warns students are paying more but the government is still writing off high levels of student debt.
"We have created a system where everybody feels like they are getting a bad deal," says the study.
The Higher Education Commission was set up to create a better informed debate on the university sector, with representatives from education, business and political parties.
This study from the commission has examined the sustainability of the financial arrangements for England's universities, taking evidence from 60 expert witnesses.
Student debt
It has produced a highly critical report on the current arrangements - but admits there is no "magic bullet" in trying to design a better alternative.
The report says that the funding arrangements are unsatisfactory for students, universities and the government.
"The current funding system represents the worst of both worlds.
"The government is funding higher education by writing off student debt, as opposed to directly investing in teaching grants," says the study.
"Students feel like they are paying substantially more for their higher education, but are set to have a large proportion of their debt written off by the government.
studentThe commission is concerned that so much is spent on writing off student debt
"Universities are perceived to be 'rolling in money' in the eyes of students, as their income from tuition fees has tripled, yet the cuts to the teaching grant are not well understood by students and a fixed fee cap means an annual erosion of real terms income.
"We have created a system where everybody feels like they are getting a bad deal. This is not sustainable."
Repayment costs
The inquiry was chaired by Ruth Thompson, former director general for higher education at the former Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and Lord Norton of Louth, professor of government at the University of Hull.
The commission's report says it is particularly concerning that graduate "middle earners", such as teachers, will be unlikely to pay back their student loans within the 30-year repayment period.
Students on a staircaseThere are no "magic bullets" for university funding, says the report
The commission says that it "fundamentally questions any system that charges higher education at a rate where the average graduate will not be able to pay it back".
The study suggests a range of alternative measures - and highlights that they would each have negative as well as positive consequences.
  • Lowering tuition fees to £6,000 would reduce student debt, but it would leave an estimated £1.72bn funding gap for universities
  • A graduate tax would require government to borrow £4bn to fill the gap between ending fees and the arrival of tax revenues - and such a tax would mean there was no clear link with the value of a particular course
  • Removing the £9,000 upper limit on fees would allow more money for universities and clearer competition, but higher fees would mean even higher levels of public subsidy for loans
  • Different charges for different universities or courses could also reduce the number graduates from expensive courses with high fees even if they were essential for the economy
Balancing act
"Striking the balance of contribution between students, universities and government is fraught with difficulty," said Lord Norton.
"What is clear is that the current balance is far from assured."
The National Union of Students has published its own "roadmap" for shifting the burden away from individual students to public funding for higher education.
"Forcing debt onto students as a way of funding universities is an experiment that has failed," said NUS vice-president, Megan Dunn.
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the government would "look closely at the findings from the commission".
"The UK enjoys a world-renowned reputation for the quality of its universities, which we have protected and enhanced through our reforms.
"In fact, the OECD recently described the UK as one of the few countries that has developed a sustainable funding system for its universities."


Popular posts from this blog

Best Themes for Student Blogs 2014

Everyone is aware of the importance of aesthetics once it involves websites. A badly designed webpage will cause a visitant to lose trust in real time and at the worst can cause them to click back and visit another website. If you actually need your guests to interact in your website and your websites’ content you may need to tempt them to stay; attractiveness to their visual senses and provides them a unforgettable expertise. In this article, the most effective Themes for Student Blogs 2014, we'll be observing the best grossing nevertheless still somewhat under-used and undiscovered themes supported sales information from the rear finish of 2013. By combining the quantity of sales with their overall rating and their quality for college kids such as you and that we find yourself with an amazing condensed list to supply you. The best themes won't return free and there's a decent reason we have a tendency to advocate you don’t use free themes. sometimes they're under-supp

Clear and transient summary on Property Insurance Information

Never been mentioned inside the previous posts, throughout this opportunity Insinuate goes to share data regarding clear and transient outline on property insurance. Like jewelry insurance mentioned inside the previous post regarding basic correct data regarding jewelry insurance , some home-owner insurance have already cowl property insurance.  during this clear and transient outline on property insurance, here is mentioned the definition of property insurance, the approach to purchase property insurance, why property insurance is needed and how to make a decision on the correct property insurance. Actually, (as cited from ) property insurance provides coverage for insured property and compensates for loss associated with hearth, theft, causality or natural calamities. The contents at intervals the property are lined by property insurance. Property insurance includes many types of insurance, including:  insurance     Flood Insurance     Earthquake Insurance     Boiler

The application of Therapeutic Diets based on individuals, places and Different Seasons

The application of Therapeutic Diets based on individuals, places and Different Seasons - Every individual on Earth has a different face, basically, each individual also varies from one another in character. In addition, each individual also has a penchant for various types of food remains. for example, some people may like the cuisine that smells sharp, while much stronger to avoid it. the usual drink liquid milk consumption by most people, while some others will be affected by diarrhea when they consume milk, cucumbers are a very common food for us, nevertheless, cucumbers can cause allergies in some people, cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and fever. Image Source: The physical condition of a patient can be classified into the cold, heat, deficiency or excess. in General, a patient who was in a condition of deficiency should consume foods that contain a lot of nutrients, while things like this need not be done by the patient who was in a condit