i News reports that ministers are considering forcing underperforming universities to cut tuition fees as the Government steps up efforts to offer students better value for money.
The plans are part of options being considered by the Government as it looks to crack down on “low quality” universities, which have been able to charge students the full £9,000 a year in fees (rising to £9,250 for the coming year).
As Parliament reconvened last week, Theresa May was facing calls from her own backbenches to slash the rate of interest on student debt, despite its impact on the Exchequer.
But according to sources close to Downing Street, the Universities minister, Jo Johnson, is more interested in forcing universities to cut tuition fees.
“Fee restraint is what they are tending towards,” the source told i. Jo Johnson, The tuition fees system is fair “Johnson knows what levers to pull to make a difference, having piloted the HE Bill through Parliament.”
Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, is believed to have told Tory backbench MPs in the 1922 Committee last week that he wanted ideas ahead of the Budget on helping young people with student finance and getting on the housing ladder.
Nicky Morgan, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, said she was considering looking into the issue of student debt as one of her first inquiries.
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