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21st Sep 2018
The government is to introduce fast-track university degrees with higher annual fees.
Under the plans, the two-year degrees will cost the same as a traditional three-year course, meaning annual fees will be higher.
Ministers are expected to put forward a bill to lift the current £9,000 cap on tuition fees so universities can charge higher annual rates associated with courses with a reduced length.
The Department for Education stressed the fast-track degrees will carry the same weight as the current undergraduate model.
Under the proposals, universities will be able to charge more than £13,000 a-year for those courses that are cut down to two years and will only apply to institutions in England. Annual fees for four-year courses being delivered in three years could rise to £12,000 a year.
The increased fees will be limited to those courses being accelerated and delivered in fewer years, with universities having to prove they're investing the same resources into the fast-track students.
Education ministers have suggested the reduced course time-frame will appeal to those looking to get into, or return to, the workplace or those looking to cut down on living and accommodation costs.
Those partaking in the new system will forgo the long summer and winter breaks in exchange for the shorter course duration.
The proposal to lift the cap on tuition fees for fast-track students is part of a range of changes set to be included into the higher education and research bill.
According to University minister Jo Johnson, the new bill will provide students with new and flexible ways of learning.
Commenting on the plans, he said: "Students are crying out for more flexible courses, modes of study which they can fit around work and life, shorter courses that enable them to get into and back into work more quickly and courses that equip them with the skills that the modern workplace needs."
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