Former May adviser Nick Timothy calls student fees ‘a Ponzi scheme’

The BBC is reporting that Theresa May’s former chief of staff has called university tuition fees an “unsustainable Ponzi scheme” and claims that they should be radically reformed

Writing in the Telegraph, Nick Timothy likened the fees system in England to the well-known investment scam.

Former Labour education minister Lord Adonis backed the call, saying the “current system of fees and loans is unlikely to survive for long”.

But the government said abolishing fees would be “catastrophic” for funding.

Mr Timothy’s intervention comes as students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive their A-level results. The number of university places allocated so far has dropped.

Tony Blair’s Labour government was the first to introduce fees for university students in 1998. Before that, the cost had been met by the student’s home local authority, which also provided means-tested grants which students could top up with loans to help meet living costs.

The upper fees limit rose to £3,000 in 2004, before the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government approved an increase in the ceiling to £9,000 in 2010. Fees in England now stand at £9,250 for those studying in 2017-18.

Students from Scotland can claim grants to cover fees charged by Scottish institutions, while grants reduce the level of fees in Wales and Northern Ireland, as a result of the policies of those nations’ devolved governments.

More at: Former May adviser Nick Timothy calls student fees ‘a Ponzi scheme’

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link 

We now have a Facebook page - pls click to like!


More recent posts...

Less than a fifth of parents think new GCSE grading system is a 'good idea'
Learndirect blames government cuts for damning Ofsted report
Categories: Higher Education and University.


  1. The student loans/Uni fee’s issue has become a debacle. As soon as the cap was raised to an eye watering £9k the whole system started to smell. Of course the maximum amount of funding will be claimed regardless of the qualification and its value in the workplace.

    Along with increased fee’s is an increase in the amount of money washing around in the sector which means the spending starts to get out of control, namely big salaries and over generous pensions. The average pay for a University Vice Chancellor now is over £275k with many receiving salary and pensions packages over the £400k mark, this is just not sustainable and if it were the private sector the left would be asking for heads to roll.

    There is also a widening pension deficit at almost £17.5 BILLION, when it all goes pop, guess who will pick that up!

Let us know what you think...