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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2003): Education - UK - Higher

BLAIR BACKTRACKS ON TOP-UP FEES

P. Webster and T. Baldwin

Times, Dec 5th 2002, p.1, 2+11

Tony Blair has hinted that he favours a system in which tuition fees vary depending on choice of university and degree course. Students would be given the option of paying the fees upfront at a discounted rate or waiting until they are earning. Other options include higher taxes for graduates and "university bonds" which would provide a private source of revenue for funding tuition fees. Top-up fees are likely to be limited to £3,000 to £4,000 a year. Ministers are also considering a new system of thresholds that would ensure that parents earning up to £70,000 receive some help with fees.

(See also Independent, Dec. 5th 2002, p.1; Daily Telegraph, Dec. 5th 2002, p.1+2; Financial Times, Dec. 5th 2002, p.5; Guardian, Dec. 5th 2002, p.1+8)

BLAIR LOYALIST JOINS CABINET REBELLION OVER TOP-UP FEES

C. Newman

Financial Times, Dec. 4th 2002, p.6

Reports growing opposition amongst cabinet ministers to Tony Blair's plans for the introduction of "top-up" fees for university students. There are fears that these would deter poorer students from applying.

(See also Guardian, Dec. 4th 2002, p. 12)

BLAIR'S CASH LURE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR RECRUITS

M. White and P. Wintour

The Guardian, December 20th 2002, p.1

Graduates going into demanding public sector jobs such as teaching can expect to get extra help with the rising cost of tuition fees, the government's Review on Higher Education Funding has decided. The Prime Minister used an end-of-term interview to drop a broad hint that ministers have decided to allow some universities to charge higher top-up fees.

BRITONS TURN TO AUSTRALIA FOR STUDY AND FUN

G. Owen

The Times, December 9th 2002, p.3

Students are increasingly deserting Britain's drizzly campuses for the sunshine of Australia, according to new figures. The numbers of undergraduates opting to study down under has risen by 44 per cent this year, a trend expected to continue after the introduction of higher tution fees.

CLARKE TONES DOWN PLEDGE ON UNIVERSITY ENTRANTS

W. Woodward

The Guardian, December 19th 2002, p. 11

The government's "historic commitment" to ensuring that half of all young people go to university was substantially qualified yesterday when the Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, said reaching the target figure was less important than increasing access for working-class students.

HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING COUNCIL (HEFC) METHODS IN THE 1990s: NATIONAL AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS

D. R. Stiles

Public Administration, vol 80, 2002, p711-731

The Higher Education Funding Councils (HEFCs) in the UK were established to implement a devolved higher education funding policy. Article explores changes in methods for allocating teaching and research funds in the 1990s. Allocations of funding to support teaching remained largely driven by student numbers. However teaching formulae also began to address issues of greater equity in allocations between institutions, wider access for disadvantaged students, increased institutional competition for funds, and the enhancement of teaching quality. There were also controversial experiments with payment of up-front tuition fees. Methods for allocation of research funding appeared to arise from institutional scrutiny exercises. Research Assessment Exercise scores and the proportion of research active academics were regarded as important determinants of grant.

[HIGHER EDUCATION ISSUES]

Department for Education and Skills

2002

As a contribution to the debate on the future of higher education, these discussion papers cover important challenges such as research, access, teaching and academic freedom and accountability.

STUDENTS COULD PAY VARIABLE COURSE FEES

D. Charter and T. Halpin

The Times, December 19th 2002, p.9

Students would have to pay different fees depending on the university course they chose under one plan for higher education funding being considered by Charles Clarke, the Education Secretary.

THERE IS A THIRD WAY

A. Giddens

Guardian, Dec. 5th 2002, p. 23

Proposes that higher education in the UK should be free at the point of delivery for all students. Costs would be covered by a loan with income-related repayments, collected alongside income tax. The loans would be based on a rate of interest equivalent to the government's cost of borrowing.

TOP-UP FEES SOLUTION MAY BE IN SIGHT

J. Kelly and K. Guha

Financial Times, December 6th 2002, p. 1

The "Australian model" of top-up fees funded by loans and repaid after graduation via the tax system is emerging as the front runner in the government's search for a solution to university funding. The system is seen as the perfect compromise between Tony Blair's support for top-up-fees and Gordon Browns preference for a graduate tax.

TOP-UP FEES 'WOULD EXCLUDE DISADVANTAGED FROM PROFESSIONS'

B. Sherwood

Financial Times, December 18th 2002, p.5

The professions will become yet more dominated by white, middle-class students if top-up fees are introduced, the new chairman of the Bar Council warned yesterday. Matthias Kelly said top-up fees would hit the legal profession by "kicking away the ladder" for students from poorer backgrounds.

TOP-UP TRAUMAS

S. Court

Public Finance, Dec 6th-12th 2002, p.28-29

Universities in Britain are under-funded but government has made it clear that no extra money will be forthcoming from the public purse. Article discusses various alternative sources of finance, including top-up tuition fees, a graduate tax, higher education bonds, alumni contributions, and commercial exploitation of research through spin-off companies.

UNIVERSITIES NEED 40,000 MORE STAFF TO MEET TARGET

R. Garner

The Independent, December 23rd 2002, p. 5

Britains universities must recruit more than 40,000 academics to meet the Government's pledge to get 50 per cent of young people into higher education by 2010, the leader of the country's university teachers believes. Yet the reality says Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the Association of University Teachers, is that the union receives weekly calls from academics who have been threatened with the sack because of funding cuts.

UNIVERSITIES TO BE SET QUOTAS FOR POORER STUDENTS

R. Allison

The Guardian, December 10th 2002, p.11

Fresh targets to increase university access by teenagers from poor backgrounds are being considered by ministers. Universities will be told to admit a quota of students from low-income homes, whose parents did not attend university and who went to schools with a poor history of exam results, according to the Department for Education and Skills.

(See also Financial Times, December 10th 2002, p. 4)

UNIVERSITIES TOLD TO LOOK HARDER FOR POOR STUDENTS

J. Kelly

Financial Times, December 18th 2002, p.5

The country's top universities must do more to "hunt out" bright poor students, the government said yesterday as it pledged new measures to boost access to higher education

(See also The Guardian, December 18th 2002, p. 8;The Independent, December 18th, 2002, p1The Times, December 18th 2002, p.6)

UNIVERSITY CHIEF SAYS STUDENTS MUST PAY OWN WAY

T. Halpin

The Times, December 9th, 2002, p.3

Students should be treated as adults and made to bear the cost of their own degrees, according to the head of one of Britain's leading universities. Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said that the parental link to student contributions should be severed and teenagers persuaded to make a personal investment in their futures by borrowing to pay for their education.

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