Magazine article Public Finance

Students 'Are Not Put off by Tuition Fees'

Magazine article Public Finance

Students 'Are Not Put off by Tuition Fees'

Article excerpt

The introduction of variable tuition fees has not dented demand for university places, according to a report published on August 12.

Universities UK said it was now possible to see the effect the fees had in 2006/07, the first year they applied. Far from a downturn in student enrolments, the report found significant growth in both home and overseas applications, with the largest increase occurring among those living in England.

Diana Warwick chief executive of Universities UK, said: 'It's encouraging to see from this report that demand for higher education remains solid. Despite various changes to the system, there continues to be real growth in the number of applications and a pattern of stability in recruitment.'

She added that universities had set aside a significant proportion of their fee income to fund bursaries and other access schemes. Students benefited from almost £96m of non-repayable bursary funds in 2006/07, due to rise in the next two years as more students come under the fee regime.

But a second report, published on August 13 by the National Union of Students, revealed that many prospective undergraduates have a blasé attitude to their financial situation.

There was widespread ignorance about the alternative sources of funding available. …

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