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Tuition Fees May Rise Before 2020

Posted by Hannah Walker in ,

Jo Johnson, who is the new science and universities minister, has stated that there is no guarantee as to whether tuition fees will increase or not over the next five years. He argued that, "due to the financial situation we inherited, we are of course forced to review all spend." In response, Labour's Liam Byrne revealed statistics demonstrating that after the fees increased to £9,000 per annum, four out of five students expressed dissatisfaction with their course.

Johnson argued that, "the government are committed to continuing to ensure that we have a stable and sustainable funding regime for our universities and higher education institutions. They are secure and financially stable, and we will continue to ensure a fair balance of interests between taxpayers and students."

In the run-up to the May election the Labour party believed that a coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats would result in increased tuition fees of £11,500 a year. William Hague responded to Labour claims arguing that indeed, increasing fees had not been ruled out, however the such claims had been made ahead of the election just "to scare people."

Wes Streeting, the new Labour MP for Ilford North, questioned Johnson not only on increased tuition fees but also with regards to student repayment structures. He states: "Having failed to rule out a hike in university tuition fees during this parliament, can the minister rule out at least that there will be no changes either to tuition fee levels or the terms of repayment on student loans for existing students and graduates? Yes or no?"

Johnson argued that the OECD had in fact applauded the UK's way of funding university education stating that it is a sustainable method.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons.