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.
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!