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

ADMISSION OF ERROR

B Bekhradina

Guardian Education, January 21st 2003, p.11

As A-level results improve and competition for places at universities grows, admissions tutors are struggling to find ways to encourage students from deprived backgrounds. Are universities justified in demanding higher grades from independent school pupils? The article examines new evidence which suggests they may be.

BROWN BLOCKS CHANGE TO COLLEGE TOP-UP FEES

R Sylvester and G Jones

The Daily Telegraph, January 17th 2003. p.1

Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, yesterday blocked plans drawn up by Tony Blair and Charles Clarke, the Education Secretary, to abolish tuition fees for students and replace them with loans to be repaid after graduation, probably through tax. The scheme, part of a long-awaited reform of student finance allowing universities to charge varying rates for different courses, is now in jeopardy.

BROWN FUNDING FEAR MAY DELAY UNIVERSITY REFORM

T Baldwin and T Halpin

The Times, January 15th 2003, p.2

Gordon Brown has intervened over plans for a new system of higher education funding, insisting that extra resources must be matched by far-reaching reform of the universities. His demands mean that the imminent education White Paper, which is expected to include proposals for top-up tuition fees, may now only set out options on which no final decision will be taken until after the general election.

THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES: GLOBALISATION AND E-LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION

S Clegg, A Hudson and J Steel

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol. 24, 2002, p.39-53

Current British government policy regards information and communication technologies as a cause and consequent driver of change in higher education. Higher education must change to meet the challenge of ICTs and in so doing provide the skilled labour that gives the national economy a competitive edge in the global market. Authors argue that while there are multiple pressures on pedagogy in higher education, the use of new media and the pressure of the market need not be determinant of practice. The currently dominant neo-liberal paradigm presents the objective of higher education as being to turn out competitive items of human capital. This is not what education should be about.

FEE INCREASES WILL LEAD TO CHEAP AND CHEERFUL DEGREES

T Halpin

The Times, January 24th 2003, p.11

Students will face a choice between "posh but pricey" and "cheap and cheerful" degrees as a result of higher tuition fees announced by the Government. Students may seek to cut the cost of higher education by applying to universities that charge smaller fees.

THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Department for Education and Skills

London: TSO, 2003 (Cm 5735)

Proposes that universities should be able to charge differential fees of up to £3,000 a year for their courses from 2006. Poorer students would pay up to £1,900. Fees could be paid after graduation as well as up front. Suggests that repayments should begin when graduates earn £15,000 a year. Maintenance grants would be reintroduced for poorer students in 2004. Student loans would continue for those from better off families. A new regulator would be introduced to ensure that universities charging higher fees had bursary schemes and fair admissions policies to attract poorer students.

(For comment see Public Finance, Jan. 31st-Feb 6th 2003, p.28-30)

GRADUATE TAX 'WOULD COST £1BN A YEAR'

R Smithers

The Guardian, January 30th 2003, p.7

The Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, has revealed that a university graduate tax would involve an extra 3p in the pound on income tax over 25 years.

MAXIMUM STUDENT GRANT MAY BE RAISED

W Woodward

The Guardian, January 28th 2003, p.13

The government may raise the maximum £1,000 maintenance grant for students from 2006, Charles Clarke, the Education Secretary, said last night. He stated the reason why they had not advertised it in the recent White Paper is that it will be included in the next comprehensive spending review negotiations [for 2006 onwards].

ONE IN THREE STUDENTS TO GET £1,000 GRANTS

J Kelly and K Guha

Financial Times, January 21st 2003, p.2

A third of students will get up to £1,000 a year in state grants to help with living costs, in an attempt to ensure that fear of debt does not deter poorer students from university. The grants are smaller than expected but cover a larger group of students, more than 100,000 qualifying from the average annual intake in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE OFFERED DEAL TO TAKE MORE STATE PUPILS

W Woodward

The Guardian, January 22nd 2003, p.2

Oxford and Cambridge universities will be told today that in exchange for being able to charge higher fees for main courses they should take control of admissions away from colleges to ensure more state school students. The government has no direct power to end the historic autonomy of individual colleges but the education White Paper will demand more efforts to widen access. Oxbridge colleges take in fewer state school entrants, 5390 each, than any other UK university.

RISE IN UNDERGRADUATES SLOWS AMID WORRY OVER SLUMP IN MATHS ENTRANTS

R Smithers

The Guardian, January 17th 2003, p.9

The increase in the number of people accepted on to full-time degree courses has slowed down, amid fresh concerns about the slump in those opting to study maths. Maths acceptances fell 4.1%, following a 2001 drop of 1.1%.

(See also The Independent, January 17th 2003, p.11)

STUDENTS ARE TO BE OFFERED VOCATIONAL DEGREE PROGRAMMES

J Kelly

Financial Times, January 14th 2003, p.6

Some universities will specialise in teaching non-academic subjects, mostly on two year degree programmes, to provide skilled workers for the local economy. Margaret Hodge, the Higher Education Minister, gave the starkest warning yet that the single system of more than 100 institutions set up in 1992, when polytechnics gained university status, was to be broken up and redrawn.

(See also The Independent, January 14th 2003, p.7; The Guardian, January 14th 2003, p.8)

STUDENTS FACE £21,000 DEBTS FROM TOP-UP FEES, ADMITS CLARKE

R Smithers and A Perkins

The Guardian, January 20th 2003, p.1

The Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, yesterday admitted that some university students will be burdened with individual debts of up to £21,000 as a result of government plans to introduce higher tuition fees.

(See also The Times, January 20th 2003, p.1; The Daily Telegraph, January 20th 2003, p.1; Financial Times, January 20th 2003, p.1)

TOP-UP FEES ROW SETTLED WITH PLAN FOR GRADUATE TAX

P Wintour

The Guardian, January 10th 2003, p.1

University students will be made to contribute up to £3,000 a year to the cost of their education but the bulk of their payments will be deferred until after graduation, the government will announce later this month. Maintenance grants, scrapped by the government in 1997, will be restored for low-income families.

TOP-UP FEES 'WILL ALTER CHOICES OF UNIVERSITY'

W Woodward

The Guardian, January 20th 2003, p.5

One in three students say they would not have opted for their first choice university if it had charged top-up fees, according to a Mori poll. The survey of students will fuel protests over co-payments for higher education.

UNIVERSITY SHAKE-UP CLEARS WAY FOR FEES

J Kelly and K Guha

Financial Times, January 23rd 2003, p.1

The biggest education shake-up since the Second World War was heralded by the government yesterday as it unveiled plans to allow universities to charge top-up fees. The government's White Paper 'The Future of Higher Education' lays the foundation for a market-based system with students repaying fees after graduation. Income from top-up fees will begin in 2006. The main points of the White paper are:

  • the creation of the first real market in higher education by letting universities set fees;
  • fees to be repaid by graduates when they are earning - a radical shift from the old up-front payment system;
  • business and universities to be linked, with courses partly designed by employers;
  • the 100-odd universities to be banded in new groups according to their strengths.

(See also The Guardian, January 23rd 2003, p.1. The Independent, January 23rd 2003, p.1; The Daily Telegraph, January 23rd 2003, p.1)

UNIVERSITY SPENDING WILL FALL FAR SHORT OF VICE CHANCELLORS' DESIRED SUM

J Kelly

Financial Times, January 23rd 2003, p.5

Spending on higher education will rise 6 per cent a year in real terms to deliver an extra £2.3bn a year by 2005-06, but will fall short of the sum vice chancellors' claim they need to make the system work.

WINDS OF UNCERTAINTY

S Cook and W Berliner

Guardian Education, January 25th 2003, p.2-4

Article charts reactions from two very different institutions, Imperial College and the University of Central England, to the recent tuition fee proposals.

"YOU NEED A QUALIFICATION FOR EVERYTHING THESE DAYS". THE IMPACT OF WORK, WELFARE AND DISAFFECTION UPON THE ASPIRATIONS OF ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS.

P Warmington

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol.24, 2003, p.95-108

Article examines the perceptions held by mature students on an Access to Higher Education programme at an inner-city college as to the social, cultural and economic significance of the qualifications they hoped to gain. They regarded further and higher education as an escape route from dependency upon state welfare and the vagaries of the peripheral labour market.

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