UK: Half Of Vice Chancellors Believe Tuition Fees Are Unsustainable, Survey

Current system of a maximum £9,000 fee is not sustainable according to 13 of the 25 vice chancellors surveyed by the Times Higher Education.

As many respondents (52%) also believed that the government will increase the tuition fee cap in line with inflation, while 36 per cent said no and 12 per cent said that they were unsure.

The report also found two thirds of university bosses not supporting the Labour policy of abolishing tuition fees.

David Green, vice-chancellor of the University of Worcester, said that under current system and the Brexit change, “institutional instability on a wide scale is just two or three years away.”

“There is a tsunami of opinion that the current system is plain unfair – with too much debt and too high a rate of interest.”

Sir Keith Burnett, vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, told Time Higher Education, “If we let it carry on I think that it will result in a decreasing political consensus for the present system,” he said. “You can see it rotting quickly.”

Iain Martin, vice-chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, said that there was a need for “a very open and public debate” on higher education funding.

Student loan debt recently soared to more than £100bn at the end of March, a 16.6% increase from a year earlier, according to the Student Loans Company.

And a recent report by the  Institute of Fiscal Studies predicts that almost eight in ten graduates will never pay back their full student loan under the current fees system while most of them who pay back will be doing so into their 50s.

77.4 per cent of graduates will fail to repay their debts, compared to 41.5 per cent of graduates under the previous system of maintenance grants that was abolished in 2011, according to the IFS. 


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