Guardian, Sept. 9th 2003, p.2
Reports massive opposition to proposals to allow universities to charge differential tuition fees amongst the public, MPs, and trade unions.
The Financial Times, September 3rd 2003, p.3
The education secretary Charles Clarke claimed yesterday that plans to increase tuition fees to a maximum of £3,000 were conservative by international standards. Despite growing opposition from backbench MPs he made it clear that investment in higher education was a priority necessary for future economic success.
(See also The Times, September 3rd 2003, p.2; The Independent, September 3rd 2003, p.10)
The Times, September 16th 2003, p.4
Universities may be forced to provide bursaries for poorer students under government plans to "redistribute" income earned through tuition fees. The government is hoping such measures will avert a Commons defeat over top-up fees.
C. Adams and B. Hall
The Financial Times, September 18th 2003, p.2
Peter Bradley, the parliamentary private secretary to Alun Michael, has asked Tony Blair to rethink his policy on top-up fees, saying it was the "one per cent" of Labour's modernisation agenda with which he had difficulty. He is the first official of this rank to publicly question the proposals.
Financial Times, Sept.11th 2003, p.5
The government has withdrawn its threats to intervene if universities opt to charge the maximum £3000 tuition fees. Universities will have full discretion to set fees to create a genuine market in student places. Government has also made clear that there is no money available at present to increase financial assistance to students from poorer backgrounds.
(See also Daily Telegraph, Sept.11th 2003, p.2; Guardian, Sept.11th 2003, p.12)
B. Russell and R. Garner
The Independent, September 15th 2003, p.7
Ministers are considering plans to increase the proposed level of grants for poorer students or to raise the level of income at which graduates start repaying their fees in a bid to avert defeat in the Commons over top-up fees. Tony Blair has been warned by party whips that he cannot force the legislation through the Commons without major concessions.
The Guardian, September 8th 2003, p.5
Tony Blair and Charles Clarke will this week try to convince Labour critics that top up fees will give the children of unskilled, working class, parents far more opportunity to go to university than they have under the present system. Rebels are also concerned that poorer students will be priced out of the better universities, creating a two-tier system.
The Independent, September 23rd 2003, p.1, 6 & 17
One in three universities have admitted they would offer a place to a child from a more deprived background in preference to one with the same grades from a more privileged one. One in seven also said they would make a lower offer to a teenager from an under-performing school. The research has led to accusations of social engineering, with one head saying it would penalise children who had attended a good school despite their background.
(See also: The Times, September 23rd 2003, p.2; The Daily Telegraph, September 23rd 2003, p.2; The Financial Times, September 23rd 2003, p.6)
The Guardian, September 22nd 2003, p.9
Children at under-performing schools may be offered university places based on lower "A" level grades than their peers at more successful schools. The move is aimed at encouraging young people from working class backgrounds to apply for university.
The Guardian, September 5th 2003, p.7
Top up fees of £3,000 are essential if universities are to get the money they need to maintain world class standards, Tony Blair said yesterday. The Prime Minister said that the only other alternative, asking lower-paid, non university educated, workers to subsidise middle class children's college bills, was not the "fair balance" Labour should be advocating.
Guardian Education, September 16th 2003, p.15
The author believes opposition to tuition fees is misguided; the New Zealand experience shows how they work.
The Financial Times, September 10th 2003, p.4
Trade unions have joined the campaign to persuade the government to rethink its controversial education reforms and scrap extra university charges for students. Their unanimous criticism of the policy was voiced at Brighton yesterday.
(See also The Guardian, September 10th 2003, p.11; The Times, September 10th 2003, p.10)
The Financial Times, September 10th 2003, p.4
University vice chancellors are being encouraged to back a flat increase in tuition fees to £2,000, rather than allowing the differential "top up fees". Professor Sir David Watson told the Universities UK conference that differential fees could not work until a robust and credible scholarship and financial aid structure was put in place.
The Guardian, September 23rd 2003, p.7
Unsuccessful university applicants should be informed why they have been rejected, according to the head of a government appointed taskforce. Professor Steven Schwartz said that such a move would create a fairer and more transparent admissions system. He denied that the taskforce was trying to introduce a form of "social engineering".