Back-door cuts to university places could provoke ‘clash of the classes

The Guardian is reporting that government plans to cap student numbers just as the UK faces an explosion in the number of 18-year-olds would be the “death knell” for social mobility, academic experts warn.

More than half of young people are now going into higher education, but senior academics believe that with the Treasury anxious to rein in spiralling student loan debt, universities will face a cap on numbers by the back door, with the government cutting support for what it calls “low-quality” courses

The issue has acquired new urgency, because at the end of 2018 the Office for National Statistics changed the way student loans are treated on the government’s books, adding £12bn to the year’s public deficit overnight. The change reflects the fact that around 45% of the value of student loans is never repaid, and will now be treated as part of government expenditure.

Read full article here Back-door cuts to university places could provoke ‘clash of the classes

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