Tory Tuition Fees Policy Made England Universities Among The Most Expensive In The World; PM Admits

British Prime Minister has admitted Tory tuition fees policy has made the UK universities among the most expensive in the world.

Theresa May is due to give a major speech on Monday to launch the Government’s long-awaited review into the wider higher education system.

Mrs May will launch a year-long review of higher education funding, just six years after they tripled tuition fees limit to £9,000 a year.

The PM acknowledged that the 2012 move to treble fees, which now stand at £9,250 a year, has failed to create the expected “competitive market” in higher education.

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She has been warned against damaging disadvantaged students’ access to university in order to fund a tuition fees cut that have been described as “a sop to classic Tory voters”.

Read More: Theresa May Faces Political Defeat Over Counting Foreign Students As Immigrants

On Monday’s speech in Derbyshire, Mrs May will reveal plans for a Government-led review, supported by an independent chair and panel, that will look at all aspects of university finance, including issues such as living costs, tuition fees and interest rates.

The PM will admit the “competitive market” in tuition fees had not emerged, and most universities charge the maximum.

She will call for a “much greater focus” on non-university education. The PM will vow to examine “the whole post-18 education sector in the round, breaking down false boundaries between further and higher education, so we can create a system which is truly joined up.”

University leaders said ministers should avoid the “easy political solution” of cutting tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants for the poorest students.

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Alistair Jarvis, Universities UK chief executive, said: “A cut in tuition fees may seem like an easy political solution, but it would see universities in England struggle to provide students with the world class education they currently enjoy.”

“Unless a cut to fees is met in full from other funding sources, we risk returning to a system where courses are seriously underfunded or the number of places capped. That would be bad for graduate skills and the economy, for social mobility and for student choice,” he added.

A Tory row broke out yesterday after a minister suggested the review could also make science degrees cost thousands of pounds more than arts degrees.

New Education Secretary Damian Hinds signalled fees could be cut on arts courses because they cost universities less to put on.

However, Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: “Making fees different levels is actually going to cause more chaos in the sector.”

“We’re told we need science and maths. To make those degrees more expensive flies in the face of what our economy needs in the future.” Mrs Rayner added.

On the other hand, former Education Secretary Justine Greening, who was sacked in the January reshuffle, warned her successor that Tory plans to make some university courses cheaper could have a serious impact on social mobility.

Her comments came after her successor in the job, Damian Hinds, said there could be “different aspects of pricing” for different subjects, based on the “value that it is to the student and also the value to society as a whole, and to our economy for the future.”

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