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

AMID THE FURORE, ONE THING IS AGREED: UNIVERSITY FUNDING IS IN SEVERE CRISIS

R. Garner

The Independent, November 28th 2003, p.8

Warring factions over the introduction of top-up fees agree on one thing -

university funding is in crisis. University vice-chancellors claim they need an extra £9bn if they are to maintain international competitiveness, keep their buildings in good repair and retain high-quality staff. Funding per student has fallen from £7,916 in 1989, when there were 567,000 students, to £5,022 last year, when the number of students had nearly doubled to 1.1 million. Funding from the tax payer has, of course, risen during this period and is set to increase by a further 30 per cent by 2006 but critics say this is still not enough to cope with increased student numbers. The crisis is compounded by the Government's determination to increase participation in higher education.

CAMBRIDGE PREPARES TO CHARGE £3,000 FEES

T. Halpin

The Times, November 28th 2003, p.14

Cambridge University became the first to declare that it will seek to charge tuition fees of £3,000 a year from 2006. The university sought to soften the blow by revealing proposals to award means-tested bursaries to poorer students.

COLLEGES DEMAND NO RETREAT ON FEES

T. Halpin

The Times, November 24th 2003

Britain's elite universities warned yesterday that middle class students could be denied places or charged the full cost of their degrees if the Government failed to deliver on its pledges to increase tuition fees. Leaders of the country's top research universities said they would fall hopelessly behind rivals in the United States unless Tony Blair faced down opposition to higher fees.

GLOBAL WARMING

P. Curtis and L. Ford

Guardian Education, November 18th 2003, p.2-5

The government says top-up fees are being introduced to protect the strong international status of UK higher education. In a special report the authors ask politicians, academics and students from six continents: are British universities world class? And will they remain so?

HERTFORDSHIRE'S HAPPY CAMPUS

S. Midgley

Public Finance, Oct.17th-23rd 2003, p.26-27

Describes successful private finance initiative scheme which the University of Hertfordshire used to build a new campus at Hatfield.

NO FEES, NO WIN

J. McHugh

Public Finance, Nov. 7th-13th 2003, p.30-31

Report of an interview with the president of Universities UK, Ivor Crewe. There is now a £10bn funding shortfall in universities. Government is not minded to find this money from general taxation, so the only other available source of funding is increased tuition fees. These would not have to be paid "up-front", but would be claimed from graduates once they had passed a £15,000 salary threshold.

POOR STUDENTS SHOULDER DEBT FOR LEARNING

L. Ward

The Guardian, November 19th 2003, p.5

Students from the poorest families are leaving university with the highest debts after the introduction of tuition fees and the abolition of grants, according to government research. Student debt overall has more than doubled between 1998-99 and 2002-03 from £3,465 to an average £8,666 for final year students, while poor students leave university with average debts of over £10,000, despite taking on more paid work and spending less than better off counterparts. The research survey was conducted by academics at South Bank University, London and the Policy Studies Institute.

(See also The Independent, November 19th 2003, p.8)

USING THE THEORY OF POLICY NETWORKS AND COMMUNITIES TO EXPLORE WHO DETERMINES THE SCOTTISH HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH POLICY: ISSUES FOR EDUCATIONAL MANAGERS

K. Grant and D. Edgar

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 17, 2003, p.318-329

Historically, education policy making in Scotland has been independent of central control, with policy makers negotiating with a range of interest groups and elected politicians. Paper uses theory of policy networks and policy communities to establish the key players who 'really' shape and set Scotland's research policy. Makes recommendations on how to enhance the policy-making process to ensure greater representation at the 'grass roots' level of practising researchers and their managers.

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