Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Transfer of Fees to Students May Be 'Over the Top'

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Transfer of Fees to Students May Be 'Over the Top'

Article excerpt

England may have gone "a bit over the top" in transferring the cost of university education from the state to the graduate, the coordinator of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's skills strategy has said.

Andreas Schleicher, special adviser to the OECD secretary general, was speaking at the launch of the strategy at a conference in London on 18 May.

From the autumn, universities in England will charge students up to Pounds 9,000 a year in tuition fees as the government withdraws teaching grants for all but high-cost subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Dr Schleicher said that the principle of sharing costs between the state and the student was right - and in that respect "the rest of Europe can learn a lot from the UK" - but he suggested that the reforms had perhaps gone too far.

The OECD report that accompanied the strategy launch stresses the need for people to keep learning throughout their lives. Skills can otherwise "depreciate" as labour markets change and individuals forget those they do not use, it says. …

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