Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Also in the news

Can the Prime Minister confirm that after his changes are introduced, English students will pay the highest fees of any public university system in the industrialised world?

Asked Ed Miliband at prime minister's question time, back in December. Channel 4's FactCheck blog took a look at the figures and concluded that students at English public universities will almost certainly be paying the highest tuition fees in the industrialised world. Not just higher than those in Europe, Canada and Australia, but higher than the fees charged by public universities in the USA. Of course, FactCheck had no way of knowing how many universities would charge the maximum £9,000

 Back here, Universities UK said it couldn’t say what universities would charge after 2012, when higher fees are introduced. And that’s an important point – because it’s safe to presume not all universities will charge the top limit of £9,000. So, we just don’t yet know who will charge what and so what the average will be.

Well, the list of top chargers is beginning to be populated. The BBC is now reporting that The University of Essex has joined Surrey, Oxford, Imperial College, Durham and Exeter in announcing plans to charge the maximum £9,000 annual tuition fees.

In related news, the government have announced new restrictions on overseas students wishing to study in the UK, choking off another source of finance for cash-strapped universities.

This won't make the headlines, as it's not exactly a slow news day, but it's an issue that'll be hanging around for a long time.

Update: the University of Manchester's just joined the £9 grand club, too - today must have looked like a good day to bury bad news


Meridian said...

Is that second paragraph meant to say nine million?

Andrew King said...

Editor desperately needed...

john b said...

Agreed on the undergrad fees - higher than Australia, which surprises me as it's basically the model.

The restrictions on overseas student visas, however, won't have any impact at all on cash-strapped universities: they don't apply to university courses.

They're still daft (if people want to pay extortionate fees to a ropey private college to come to Britain and learn English, then bring it on - free money for us), but not in a way that hits the HE sector.