David Willetts has warned Universities that £9,000 fees will be very difficult to justify. So why is he introducing the possibility in the first place?
The Conservative junior minister for the State for Universities and Science department has recently warned that:
“Unless universities can prove that there will be a commensurate and very significant improvement in the education on offer, it is difficult to see how such an increase could ever be justified, let alone at a time of fiscal restraint. Institutions can clearly offer higher education at a price much less than £9,000.”
However, it has been confirmed already by the Imperial College London that fees will be rising to £9,000 while Oxford and Cambridge are very likely to follow. This means that the fees which some students are paying to attend University will be almost tripling in the space of one year.
The scheme for repayment appears fair, you do not have to pay for the fees upfront, the interest that you will have to pay is minimal and the wage threshold for when you have to start paying back your fees has risen to £21,000 per annum. This can work out cheaper than the previous scheme for some people and nobody should be put off going to University because of this increase.
Unfortunately, many will be discouraged from attending University due to this rocketing of fees. The thought of having £9,000 of debt on tuition fees alone is daunting, no matter how well the information is being put across to prospective students (it isn’t being done very well), there is going to be an element of doubt from students.
If you ask students currently at College’s around the country, many of them will not understand the system very well. They take the headlines of £9,000 tuition fees and are immediately discouraged from taking their education further, even though they may have great potential. Who can blame somebody from not wanting to be burdened with such a great amount of debt at such an early stage in life?
Although the system may be technically fair, it just isn’t going to be for the benefit of our country. If the doctors, politicians and scientists of the future are deterred from pursuing their dreams, we may be left with a great deal of further financial and social problems down the line.