February 18, 2018
PM’s proposal to cut charges for courses including humanities is branded unworkable by critics
May warns universities over high cost of tuition fees
Theresa May is to press ahead with attempts to force universities to charge less for some courses based on their costs and potential graduate earnings, despite critics within her own party and the higher education sector branding the move incoherent and unworkable.
Announcing a long-awaited review of education funding for over-18s in England, the prime minister will say that reserving university for the middle class and vocational training “for other people’s children” is outdated.
Her comments come after the new education secretary, Damian Hinds, hinted on Sunday that the review would recommend that some universities cut their fees for social science and humanities courses, particularly if recent graduates earned salaries below those of others.
In a speech in Derby on Monday afternoon, May will say that higher education institutions should change the existing structure whereby all undergraduate courses cost £9,250 a year in tuition fees.
“The competitive market between universities which the system of variable tuition fees envisaged has simply not emerged,” she is to say. “All but a handful of universities charge the maximum possible fees for undergraduate courses. Three-year courses remain the norm. And the level of fees charged do not relate to the cost or quality of the course. We now have one of the most expensive systems of university tuition in the world.”
May’s speech is the Conservative party’s latest attempt to grapple with the complexities of the funding system it created as part of the coalition government in 2012, which has pushed up average graduate debt toward £50,000 and up to £57,000 for students from the poorest backgrounds.
The hike in fees from £3,600 to £9,000 has not dented the appetite for undergraduate study, but universities have been heavily criticised for swiftly raising the pay of their vice-chancellors and other senior leaders.
“The competitive market between universities which the system of variable tuition fees envisaged has simply not emerged,” she is to say. “All but a handful of universities charge the maximum possible fees for undergraduate courses. Three-year courses remain the norm. And the level of fees charged do not relate to the cost or quality of the course. We now have one of the most expensive systems of university tuition in the world.”
May’s speech is the Conservative party’s latest attempt to grapple with the complexities of the funding system it created as part of the coalition government in 2012, which has pushed up average graduate debt toward £50,000 and up to £57,000 for students from the poorest backgrounds.
The hike in fees from £3,600 to £9,000 has not dented the appetite for undergraduate study, but universities have been heavily criticised for swiftly raising the pay of their vice-chancellors and other senior leaders.
May warns universities over high cost of tuition fees
The review panel is likely to include Prof Alison Wolf, an economist at King’s College London with a strong interest in further education provision and qualifications. Other members will include a former vice-chancellor and head of an Oxford college.
May has been determined to make universities offer variable fees for many years, backed by her former special adviser Nick Timothy, who last year complained about receiving a haircut from a university graduate. Timothy also accused the former education secretary Justine Greening of blocking May’s efforts to cut tuition fees. May removed Greening earlier this year and replacing her with Hinds, a more enthusiastic supporter.
Advertisement
On Sunday Greening appeared to confirm the rift over tuition fees, suggesting that the review would be more talk than action. She proposed more radical moves, such as doing away with interest payments on student loans and bringing back grants for poor students.
“The thing that really matters from my perspective is social mobility, and making sure we don’t end up with a system where young people from more disadvantaged backgrounds feel like they ought to do one of the cheaper degrees, rather than doing the degree they actually want that will unlock their potential in the future,” she said.
Greening’s comments echoed those of Angela Rayner, Labour’s shadow education secretary, who said the Conservatives had lost touch with reality over education funding. “Charging more for the courses that help graduates earn the most would put off students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds from getting those same qualifications. So much for the prime minister’s talk about social mobility,” Rayner said.
“To make science and maths degrees more expensive flies in the face of what our economy’s going to need in the future. As part of our industrial strategy we need to ensure that we get more students on those courses.”
Prof Janet Beer, the president of Universities UK and the vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool, took issue with May’s claims of an academic-vocational divide. “The perception may be of academic versus technical qualifications, but the reality is very different. Universities are key to developing the skills needed by employers and students across a wide range of industries, sectors and professions,” she said.
Mark Leach of the higher education thinktank Wonkhe said the government’s arguments were incoherent and could damage the sector. “Forcing struggling universities to charge lower fees to poorer students, and therefore have less money to spend on their retention, learning, facilities and other real value for money indicators, could simply entrench a cycle of poverty,” he said.
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Ben's Red Carpet Ban, Charlize's House Rules & Defensive Brian
August 04, 2020
b08TGtPZAuw
"Coyote Ugly" Turns 20: E! News Rewind
August 04, 2020
-WtjNuiiY_M
Demi Lovato Accidentally Leaks Fiance Max Ehrich's Email Address | E! News
August 03, 2020
v6ljWH1ezZs
Chris Meloni talks 'Maxxx' and His Return to 'Law and Order'
July 30, 2020
ZFTDB-dwyUA
'The Fugitive' Star Boyd Holbrook Shares Why He Left 'Narcos' After 2 Seasons
July 30, 2020
2kTuD8LTGCE
'Umbrella Academy' Season 2 Finds The Hargreeves Navigating the 1960s
July 24, 2020
JdPgaIxmUKg
Hyram’s skincare tips for treating and preventing ‘maskne’ | Page Six Celebrity News
August 03, 2020
2n7_Pv0tUiM
Twitter is sounding off about who should replace Ellen DeGeneres | Page Six Celebrity News
August 03, 2020
y2jGkJoWow4
Nikki and Brie Bella welcome baby boys one day apart | Page Six Celebrity News
August 03, 2020
FAzg6ns9c8A
Tekashi 6ix9ine Shoots Music Video After Release from House Arrest
August 02, 2020
VyVVV5Tg1EA
Montana Couple Married at Age 91, Signed a Prenup | TMZ
August 02, 2020
1sImDqNXfko
Donald Trump Suggests Presidential Election Should Be Delayed | TMZ
July 31, 2020
dueLNw16vkY
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Verona
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Torino
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Lecce - Parma
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Udinese
02
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Spal - Fiorentina
01
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Roma
01
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Cagliari
01
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Lazio
01
Aug
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
29
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Roma
29
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Juventus
29
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Sampdoria - AC Milan
28
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Napoli
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Norwich City
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Watford
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Manchester United
26
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Sampdoria
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Wolves
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
26
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Tottenham Hotspur
26
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Fiorentina
25
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
25
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Inter Milan
24
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Atalanta
23
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Juventus
22
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Chelsea
22
Jul
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - West Ham United
22
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Fiorentina
22
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Spal - Roma
22
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Napoli
21
Jul
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - AC Milan
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
-g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.