A new landmark review commissioned by the UK government has proposed several changes into the fees and repayment systems of universities. One major proposal is cutting down university fees to £7,500. The review was supported by Prime Minister herself.
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What are the Proposals?
Philip Augar chaired the review, which has suggested different changes in the educational sector for providing better education at a lower cost.
The review concluded that university fees are too high while funding is low. The review further proposed the following changes:
- Reduction of maximum tuition fees from £9250 to £7,500.
- Extension of debt paying duration from 30 years to 40 years after graduating.
- More funding in universities and better access to loans for students on vocational programs.
- Loan repayment starting when graduates earn £23,000
- Targeted funding towards high-cost subjects and less priority to low-level courses.
What is the Prime Minister Saying?
The review was backed personally by Theresa May. It will be among the last major change before she leaves the position.
Mrs May called for an end to bring injustices. She accepted that some actions of her party have worked against the educational system. She claimed that the new proposals will remove many shortcomings and help in opening universities to a better educational system. She also urged for providing better funding to colleges and universities, which will help them reduce the fees.
Who are the Benefiting Parties?
The high earning students are the biggest winners in these proposed changes. The reduction in fees means that the high earners will pay off their debts even faster. This will mean around 30% savings in terms of low-interest payments.
The lower earners are the big losers in this scenario. These are the people who can never have paid off their educational loans in 30 years. Now, their loan will be cancelled after 10 more years of payment. This will cost them huge sums of principal and interest money.
However, the non-repayable grants have made a return in the proposal. This means cost-cutting for poorer students.
The review also favours those students in high-value courses. This is done to prevent students from taking up the low-value courses, which will pay less in the future.
Will Universities take the News Happily?
The reduction in fees has been balanced by other proposals. Universities have been experiencing rising incomes while other sectors faced an economic crisis, says Dr Augar. This may be the time to remove this inequality system.
The balancing factors include higher repayment duration and more funding to colleges and universities. This will provide for the lost revenues of universities.
However, universities demand a guarantee that the government will cover their losses through sufficient funding.
When will the Change Apply?
The review suggested that the changes will not be applied before 2021-22. There are several obstacles to be passed for proposals to be applied on a national level. The bill would have to be passed through both houses of Parliament.
With current political turmoil and Theresa May’s stepping down, the proposals will not be passed anytime soon. The approval also depends on the next prime minister and the ruling party.