Labour’s plans for lowering tuition fees ‘implausible’, say vice-chancellors

The BBC is reporting that leading universities have criticised plans being considered by Labour to cut tuition fees as “implausible”…

The party is yet to unveil its policy but Ed Miliband has said he wants to reduce the cap from £9,000 to £6,000.

In a letter to the Times from Universities UK, vice-chancellors in England said this would create a £10bn hole in revenues over five years…

The vice-chancellors warned that if a Labour government reduced the fees cap, that would lead to “cuts to universities that would damage the economy, affect the quality of students’ education, and set back work on widening access to higher education”.

In the letter by Sir Christopher Snowden, vice-chancellor of the University of Surrey, and signed by English members of the Universities UK board, it is argued that the move “risks the equality of education for all”.

It reads: “Any move to limit the number of students attending universities as a way of reducing costs would remove opportunities for young people and those seeking to return to education, and act as a barrier to economic growth.”

They argue that students, especially those from poor backgrounds, would be better helped with greater financial support for living costs from the government – especially as loan repayments only start once a student is earning £21,000 a year.

Sir Christopher later added that Labour had “missed the point”, saying: “This is purely a pragmatic issue, that a policy is evolving on the hoof which is not really a practical policy going forward and the potential damage is colossal…”


Has Labour gone for a headline grabbing policy rather than one that is most likely to actually work here or are the university heads wrong in their criticism? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Is anyone actually surprised? Most of what politicians will promise in run up to May will be impossible to actually deliver

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