Yesterday the government gave the go ahead for universities to increase tuition fees above the current cap of £9,000, but only in line with inflation. Some universities have already announced they will be charging £9,250 a year (the new capped fee) from 2017.
The Government has specified that only universities which meet certain criteria within the new Teaching Excellence Framework will be allowed to put up their fees. This is to ensure that universities which are not deemed to be providing their students with value for money are not allowed to charge more and also to encourage higher standards of teaching in the Higher Education sector.
Which Universities will be charging more?
Some universities have already announced that they will be increasing tuition fees. At the time of writing, only a provisional list of those institutes which will be eligible has been published, but a finalised list is due to be published next month.
Will this rise affect current students?
Yes, if you are already studying at one of these universities and you will still be there in 2017, you will be required to pay the increased amount.
Will the loans go up too?
Yes, the amount of tuition fee loan given to students will reflect the increased tuition fees costs. The interest rate and repayment terms will not change.
Why are they doing this?
At the moment, universities receive around 44% of their income from student fees and the rest comes from Government grants and donations. However this income does not cover the full running and development costs of universities and they have to find ways to bridge the gap.
If tuition fees are not kept in line with inflation, this funding gap is just going to get bigger as the running costs increase. Allowing universities to increase tuition fees in line with inflation is the government’s way of addressing this.
Whilst it is looking highly likely that this will happen, The Business Department said that the fee cap increase is still subject to parliamentary approval of secondary legislation in the autumn. The £9,250 figure has been released now to take account of the fact that students apply for courses a year in advance.