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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2010): Education - UK - higher

200,000 to miss out on a place at university in budget cuts

G. Paton and A. Hough

Daily Telegraph, June 14th 2010, p. 6

It is predicted that more than 200,000 applicants will fail to get a place at university as institutions are forced to reduce places because of public sector spending cuts. It has also emerged that:

  1. almost seven students are competing for every university place in 2010
  2. many universities are tightening their entry criteria
  3. the number of places offered through the clearing system will be cut
  4. almost a third of universities will admit more foreign students who can be charged much higher fees.

'Burdensome' students face rise in fees

G. Paton

Daily Telegraph, June 11th 2010, p. 16

The universities minister, David Willetts, has signalled that the Coalition government is considering a rise in annual student tuition fees, currently capped at 3,225 a year. He said that students are 'a burden on the taxpayer' and that fees should be seen more as an 'obligation to pay higher income tax' than a debt. He also argued that universities should look for cheaper and more flexible ways of delivering courses, suggesting that students could take degrees at local colleges, overseen by academics.

High fees a barrier to university study

Anon

Daily Telegraph, June 21st 2010, p. 10

A survey by Ipsos Mori for the Sutton Trust suggests that 68% of respondents would still go to university if tuition fees were raised to 5,000 a year. However, an increase to 7,000 would lead to just 45% of survey respondents being interested in continuing their studies. The figure dropped to 26% if fees were raised to 10,000 a year.

Oxbridge degrees 'should be worth more than others'

R. Garner

The Independent, June 3rd 2010, p. 17

Research by the Higher Education Policy Institute has found that a first-class degree from Oxford or Cambridge will always count for more than those from most other universities. The report from the higher education think-tank warns that it is 'neither feasible nor desirable' to have comparable degree standards across all UK universities but it does conclude that there is a case for introducing a common minimum standard for degrees across the country.

Struggling universities may have to be shut, says CBI

G. Paton

Daily Telegraph, June 9th 2010, p. 2

The director-general of the Confederation of British Industry has said that the government should consider closing down universities in serious financial difficulty in order to save public money. At the same time, elite institutions should be allowed to raise student tuition fees in order to protect academic standards.

Students face higher fees as minister speaks of an 'unsustainable burden'

J. Sugden

The Times, June 10th 2010, p.6

David Willetts has said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper that the cost of subsidising degrees was a 'burden on the taxpayer that had to be tackled'. He has suggested that the system of subsidising students through low interest loans was in need of 'radical change'. He has refused to pre-empt the findings of the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding which is chaired by Lord Browne, but strongly suggested that fees would have to rise above their current cap of 3,225 per year.

University cuts 'damage culture and economy'

N. Woolcock

The Times, June 17th 2010, p.13

Sir Adam Roberts, the president of the British Academy will present his report, Past, Present and Future to the House of Commons today. The report claims that arts courses have attracted far more foreign students - who pay higher fees - to Britain than science courses. The report says that 'Teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences has economic value in a variety of ways.'

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