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Education Secretary Suggests Fees Not a Deterrent

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has said there is no evidence to suggest higher tuition fees have deterred young people from applying to university.

He added that applications, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, had risen despite fees increasing to £9,250 per year.

The comments come ahead of a review into the current system, which is being chaired by Philip Augar. It is expected that the review will recommend a cut in tuition fees, despite Mr Hinds suggesting they are not a barrier to entry.

Mr Hinds also said that £860m was being spent on widening participation in the sector, including funding from tuition fees and the taxpayer.

But the regulator has said that if all young people went to university at the same rate as the wealthiest, Russell Group universities would need to double the number of places on offer.

OFS fair access director Chris Millward said: "A huge amount of time, money and resources are already invested in access and participation."

"But there is a lack of understanding about what works and staff working at the coal face have been calling for a central place for evidence on effective approaches to be systematically gathered and shared."

"The evidence and impact exchange will meet this need, improving outcomes for students and providing better value for money on the investments that are made."