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Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary (pictured) has launched a major review of university tuition fees that could mean students paying £7000.00 a year to universities to fund their education.
The fear is that shifting the cost of higher education from the state to students could create a university market place that could allow the so called "Top" universities to price-out the poor.
“There is a real danger that this review will pave the way for higher fees and a market in prices that would see poorer students priced out of more prestigious universities and other students and universities consigned to the 'bargain basement'. This would be a disaster for UK higher education and must not be allowed to happen." Wes Streeting NUS President said.
A poll commissioned by pressure group Compass, however, reveals that the public are not behind the move to hike fees with 12% of the public thinking that the Government's student review should exclude tuition fees altogether.
The new Poll by YouGov will provide hope to students who typically leave university saddled with £30,000 of debt that the Government's review will not allow the increased cost of education to fall on those least able to pay.
“Members of the review should be in no doubt about the scale of public opposition to a hike in fees and the level of student anger about the extent of our indebtedness and the marketisation of our education. Review members have a golden opportunity to propose a fairer alternative for funding Britain's universities, like the progressive graduate contribution advocated by NUS. Wes Streeting NUS President said.
The current maximum tuition fees are:
England: £3,225 p.a.
N. Ireland: £3,225 p.a.
Scotland: free to Scots, £1,775 to other UK
Wales: £1,285 to the Welsh, £3,225 to other UK
Students from elsewhere in the EU pay the same as those locally.
Those from outside the EU pay whatever the university charges.