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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2006): Education - UK - Higher

M. Taylor

Guardian, February 9th 2006, p. 4

September’s £3000 a year university tuition fee is untenable and could jump to £5000 by 2010 according to the outgoing funding council head. Students from wealthy backgrounds, subsidised by zero rate loans, should be charged real interest so that money saved can help to boost undergraduate numbers says Newby.

[See also Times, February 9th 2006, p.33]

S. Cassidy

Independent, February 16th 2006, p.5

13,000 fewer students have applied for admission to English universities than last year, following a rise in annual tuition fees to a maximum of £3,000. This shows a marked difference from trends in Scotland and Wales. Student leaders, calling for a review, are worried about the deterrent effect of prospective debt and the loss of potential doctors, teachers, scientists and engineers. Education Minister Rammell is unsurprised by the figure and, although asserting the value of “classic” courses such as history and philosophy, which are affected by the declining applications, supports applicant calculations based on “best job” prospects when choosing courses.

[See also Times, February 16th 2006, p. 4; Guardian, February 16th 2006, p. 6; Financial Times, February 16th 2006, p.4; Daily Telegraph, February 16th, 2006, p.1 and Independent, February 17th 2006, p.6 & 7 on student migration to Scotland]

M. Taylor

Guardian, February 7th, 2006, p.6

A shortfall of suitable candidates is anticipated as recruiters report employers’ dissatisfaction with the social skills of graduates such as team working, cultural awareness, leadership and communication. Government took the opportunity to promote foundation degrees which are vocational and designed in consultation with employers.

[See also Times, February 7th 2006, p. 1&2]

S. Baker, B.J. Brown and J.A. Fazey
Critical Social Policy, issue 86, 2006, p.31-56

Higher education has been seen by government as a remedy for a wide range of individual and social ills, including unemployment, welfare dependency and social exclusion. This has led to the active encouragement of people with mental health problems to enrol for courses and to a number of initiatives to make higher education institutions better able to support students in difficulty, with new responsibilities being unfolded for staff.

R. Alleyne

Daily Telegraph, January 30th 2006, p.13

Student debts, set to increase next year with the introduction of top-up fees, are crippling students, many of whom are insolvent or have applied for bankruptcy status, and may potentially continue to do so despite recent legislation. They are also likely to impact on housing and job markets according to comments. Figures are provided by the Student Loans Company.

J. Richards & T. Halpin

Times, January 31st 2006, p.2 & 3

Anticipating breach of contract litigation from students demanding compensation and better value for money following the introduction of tuition fees next September, Oxford University, with others expected to follow, is introducing contracts binding students to required study activities. Other universities are investigating service level agreements to codify their relationship with students.

[See also Daily Telegraph, February 1st 2006, p.12; Financial Times, February 1st 2006, p.4]

M. Green

Financial Times, February 2nd 2006, p.4

A long term strategy is being sought for design, funding and delivery of vocational higher education at least in part by employers. Other priorities announced for the next higher education funding package include attracting and retaining students from poor families and non-university backgrounds.

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